Caring for a Pet

8 Ways Caring for a Pet Improves Your Mental, Emotional and Physical Health

HEALTH

Have you ever felt so down and weary that you can barely go on, but then suddenly, your pet comes to your rescue? Well, you are not alone. As a matter of fact, many pet owners seek comfort from their pets because the bond they share gives them body, mind and emotional relief.

With quality pet food and nutrition, loving care and support, pets are already happy and contented. And as you shower them with affection, they bring happiness and unconditional love to your life in return.Besides companionship, below are other ways your animal friend can improve your well-being.

1. Pets encourage fitness

If you have a dog or any pet that needs regular walks, you’ll get a good exercise, too. Engaging in regular physical activity such as walking allows you to improve your fitness. Whether it’s a walk, a jog, a hike, or a high-speed chase while your dog is in the middle of his “zoomies,” it’s a physically rewarding activity that you get to enjoy while accompanied by your beloved pet.

As you exercise your pet each day, it’ll be as if you’re meeting your daily requirements for your own workout, too. Not only that, it deepens the connection between you and your furry friend while you both stay fit and healthy.

Other fitness benefits of having a pet, include:

  • It gives you natural energy boost
  • It allows you to let off steam
  • It strengthens muscles and bones
  • You gain better blood circulation
  • You have a lower risk of major cardiac diseases
  • You become less susceptible to mental health issues

2. Pets get you outside

If you have a pet who loves the outdoors, you have the inspiration to regularly enjoy the open air, too. The fresh air will elevate your mood and give you a dose of vitamin D from the sun. Furthermore, it helps fight off mental and physical conditions, including:

  • Heart attack
  • Cancer
  • Depression
  • Obesity

Not only does going outside lower your risk for diseases, but it also enables you to reconnect with nature. Instead of staying cooped up inside the office or at home, you get to take a moment to listen to the rustling trees, feel the cool breeze, and enjoy the sun’s warm rays. The different sounds, sounds and smells of nature will have a nice calming and restorative effect on your mind, body and spirit.

3. Pets help alleviate stress

Most people feel immediate relief once they have physical contact with others. By simply patting your animal friend, you can reduce your blood pressure and ease stress.

As you do rhythmic strokes over your dog’s or cat’s fur, you concentrate on the texture of the fur and the warmth he radiates. The connection you then establish with your pet releases the love hormone called oxytocin. This eventually lowers your cortisol levels (which lead to stress) and makes you feel calmer.

4. Pets ease depression

Loneliness and isolation may trigger symptoms of depression. The companionship offered by an animal brings you comfort and helps ease your anxiety. If you live alone, it makes you feel wanted and needed by another being, making you feel happy and appreciative of what you have in the present.

A pet is quite instinctive. It can detect when you feel down and will seek you out to provide comfort. Having a pet is not always easy, but they can provide you love (in the form of cuddles) through thick and thin.

5. Pets help you build immunity

Kids who grow up living with pets are less likely to develop a common allergy and have a lower risk for asthma. A 2004 study on The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology show that exposure to dogs during infancy influences the immune development of children. Also, it reduces the probability of particular allergic diseases.

6. Pets lead you to opportunities for social interaction

Pets serve as a channel for better social interaction. This is particularly true when you take part in a community walk, pet show or animal club activities. Going to a pet event also increases your social network as you get to meet other pet owners like you.

Due to your shared interest in pets with other people, you can make new friends. While waiting at the vet, buying pet supplies at a store, or taking your dog for a walk, you’ll encounter people who are as interested in pets as you are.

7. Pets give your life purpose

When you have a pet to care for, you’re given a feeling of purpose. This is quite crucial for individuals who are constantly overwhelmed by negativity. By caring for an animal, which means making sure all his needs are met, you are concentrating and working on things other than yourself.

The good deeds you do for your animal friend and his positive response to those will give you instant gratification, and your life, greater meaning.

8. Pets bring happiness

That’s the simple truth, and every animal lover knows it. Every time your pet does something cute like putting his paw on your arm or rolling on his back, it makes you laugh or smile. This, in turn, raises your dopamine and serotonin levels which are connected with happiness and calmness.

With the toil of daily life, you sometimes forget to let loose, just be silly, and have fun. When you play with your pet, your animal friend will not only adore you for it, but he will also bring enjoyment to your otherwise tired routine.

Pets do not judge or condemn any human. All they have is love for their owners, which makes them the perfect go-to creature whenever you want to talk and vent out your frustrations in life, or just hug it out with a cuddly creature. And now that you know how much good your pet can do for you, what’s left for you to do is to give your furry friend all the love he deserves.

AUTHOR BIO

Farah Al-Khojai is the Managing Partner of Pet’s Delight. A passionate entrepreneur, Farah holds a Bsc in Government from the London School of Economics. She is always on the lookout for new opportunities to develop and grow the pet and equestrian retail and wholesale market in the UAE and beyond.

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