As easy as it is to isolate ourselves and feel walled off from the world, we are social creatures. A pet is a rewarding and low-pressure way to nip that tendency in the rear. They not only breed a sense of community with other pet owners and animal lovers, they are a form of socialization in and of themselves and the benefits are tenfold.
- Dog owners are less likely to suffer from depression than those without pets.
- People with dogs have lower blood pressure in stressful situations than those without pets. One study even found that when people with borderline hypertension adopted dogs from a shelter, their blood pressure declined significantly within five months.
- Playing with a dog or cat can elevate levels of serotonin and dopamine, which calm and relax.
- Pet owners have lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels (indicators of heart disease) than those without pets.
- Heart attack patients with dogs survive longer than those without.
- Pet owners over age 65 make 30 percent fewer visits to their doctors than those without pets.”
- NPR states that animals help people manage serious mental illness.
- Time says pets are good for your mental health.
- The Mental Health Foundation proves the companionship that a pet offers reduces anxiety and stress.
- HuffPo has a puff piece listicle on the benefits of pets and mental health.
- Mental Health America encourages people to adopt pets to improve mental health.
If you’re looking to better your quality of life this year, consider adding a pet to the family.