Did you know that a pet can do wonders for both your mood and your health? A study shows the effect our pets actually have on us and it has been shown that the benefits are many!
In fact, it only takes 15 minutes of companionship with an animal for your body to react positively. Studies have shown that the stress hormone cortisol decreases and that the production of mood-boosting serotonin soars! This also applies to everything from four-legged friends to fish in the aquarium.
Benefits for physical health
In one study, researchers analyzed the health status of 240 married couples. It then turned out that the couples with pets had lower blood pressure than the others. Animals require care, which often results in physical activity, something that researchers also believe may be a contributing reason why pet owners also have lower levels of harmful cholesterol and fats in their blood.
Dog owners tend to be more physically active and less obese than non-dog owners. 30 minutes of walking a day is enough to cover the need for movement. Many dogs can also sense a drop in blood sugar in their owner or owner before the person themselves notices it, which can be a clear advantage for people with diabetes.
Affects our mental health
Many studies have also shown that animals can affect our mental health. Unconditional love, loyalty and a social interest are some of the animals’ characteristics behind the effect, the researchers believe. With a cat in the house, researchers have also noted that seriously ill people become less depressed and have fewer outbursts, as the cat seems to lead to a more peaceful presence. A pet also counteracts loneliness on several levels. The pet is a companion in itself, and dog owners, for example, often make contact with each other out on walks.
Can counteract allergies
Children who grow up in homes with pets are also less likely to develop allergies. Studies have shown that they have a better immune system, something that creates the conditions for a long and healthy life. Allergies to dogs and cats are common, but children who are exposed early in life to cats in particular run a lower risk of developing asthma and allergies later in life. The exception is children whose mothers have a cat allergy, then instead the risk of developing the same reactions increases if they meet cats during infancy.