Interactions with pets can protect us from certain health problems which are known to be worsened by stress. My dog, Trixie Bella, a female Pomeranian, brings so much joy into my life. She makes me laugh and comforts me when I am sick or upset. Our daily interaction decreases stress in my life and lowers my blood pressure and cholesterol. She provides companionship and unconditional affection.
Studies in the UK have found a correlation between cuddling a cat and lowered blood pressure. Owning a pet gives those struggling with depression a reason outside of themselves to get out of bed, go for a walk, or go to the store. “I buy the smallest size of cat food” admits one clinically depressed cat owner, “because I will go shopping for my pet even when I wouldn’t go shopping for my own food. For her, I’ll get dressed and leave the house.”
Having a pet also helps you bond with other people. Enjoying the dog park together gives you something besides yourself to talk about because you can talk about your pets. Consider the universal appeal of animal videos on social media!
Data from the American Heart Association documents that “There are plausible psychological, sociological and physiological reasons to believe that pet ownership might actually have a contributing role in decreasing cardiovascular risk.”