It’s no question that pets are a big part of our lives and tend to paw their ways into our hearts. Not only do they affect us emotionally, but physically as well. Here are just a few of the health benefits pets can provide:

Mood Boost
Our pets have a way of grabbing our attention and helping us destress from the worries of our every-day lives. Even if it is just for a few moments, watching your goldfish swim laps, petting your cat, or watching your hedgehog run on his wheel, engaging with your pet will lower the level of the stress-hormone cortisol and will raise the level of the feel-good chemical serotonin, improving your overall mood.    

Better Physical Health
Pet owners have better levels of cholesterol and triglycerides, lower blood pressure, and a lower risk of heart disease, possibly due to increased physical activity. Pets provide us with opportunities to strengthen our bones and muscles without us even realizing it. Lifting your cat off your laptop counts as a weight-bearing exercise, as does walking your dog.   

Pets can become our best friends and provide us with emotional support that is unconditional, helping us to relax and get through stressful situations. Pets also encourage more outdoor activities and socialising; your dog will typically want to explore and say hi to people and other pets walking by, in return encouraging you to also say hi and interact, leaving isolation and loneliness in the dust.

Pets can give our lives new meaning and purpose, but they also come with great responsibility. Caring for a beloved pet can help provide a sense of motivation and a daily routine, which can help ease symptoms of depression and enhance overall well-being. 

If you would like to add a pet to your family, please consider adoption from your local shelter.