Pets Help Manage Stress and Mental Health

Your co-worker at home helps you have a happier, healthier mind

Millions of people around the world love their pets. They enjoy their companionship and going for walks, playing with them and even talking and singing to them. They’re part of the family. They are part of our lives. They bring us joy.

There is some evidence that attachment to pets is good for human health and even helps build a better community.

Studies show that dogs reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, ease loneliness, encourage exercise and improve your overall health. People with dogs tend to have lower blood pressure and are less likely to develop heart disease. Just playing with a dog has been shown to raise levels of the feel-good brain chemicals oxytocin and dopamine.

Pets can be helpful as we grow older. According to a survey on healthy aging, pets are one of the top 3 benefits for adults over 50, as well as pets’ comfort and companionship.   i.e. the top three benefits for people over 50

  • Less stress
  • Better sense of purpose
  • More social connection

Ways pets help your mental health

  1. Pets can reduce work-related stress. Two out of three employees say work stresses them out and 40% say their job gets in the way of their health. Studies show that pets in the workplace help reduce stress and improve employee satisfaction.
  2. Pets can help increase productivity, wherever you work. When a dog joins a virtual meeting, group members rank their teammates higher on trust, team cohesion, and camaraderie.
  3. Pets help manage anxiety. Now more than ever, many people are feeling anxious or struggling with mental health. Pets provide companionship and support.
  4. Pets can help you be more active. They give you a reason to get outside, get some fresh air, and get active, which is proven to improve your mood, sleep, and mental health.
  5. Pets provide a sense of togetherness. The bond with a pet helps you not feel alone. When owners see, touch, hear or talk to their companion animals, it brings a sense of goodwill, joy, nurturing, and happiness.

Dogs and your health:

1. Studies show that dog owners may live longer than non-dog owners.

2. Dog owners are 31% less likely to die from a heart attack or stroke than non-dog owners.

3. People with prior heart events who had a dog living at home had a 65% reduced risk of death.

4. Dog owners who walk their dogs regularly face one-third the risk of diabetes of those who don’t own a dog.

5. Dog parents are more likely to reach their fitness goals than those without canine companions.

6. Pet companionship may provide important social support and is a powerful predictor of behavior changes that can lead to weight loss.

7. Dogs can help with chronic conditions and prevent chronic disease.

8. Pet ownership is an important form of social support that can benefit patients with heart disease or stroke.

Less stress with dogs:

9. When we see, touch, hear or talk to our companion animals, we feel goodwill, joy, nurturing, and happiness. At the same time, stress hormones are suppressed.

10. Studies show that the mere act of petting a dog decreases blood pressure.

11. Having a pet can help increase fitness levels, relieve stress, and boost overall happiness and well-being.

12. Dogs help ease people out of isolation or shyness. Studies find that owning and walking a dog increases social interaction.

Dogs, pet parents, and the family:

13. Dog-owning families often promote physical activity within the household.

14. Dog parents are more likely to fit in the recommended level of physical activity than those who don’t have a dog

15. Dog parents are 34% more likely to fit in 150 minutes of walking per week recommended by the AHA than non-dog owners.

16. Dogs are always there to comfort you. They put a smile on your face every day.

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