Anyone who has visited a shelter or rescue knows how cute, cuddly, and loving the animals are. Just looking at their faces makes us want to take them all home. That is the first step of the human-animal bond and the positive impact of unconditional love. No matter what we say or do, our pets give us unconditional love and companionship. Our pets accept us whether we have had a good day or a bad day. They are elated to see us first thing in the morning before we brush our teeth and when we return home, even if we do not have a treat in our hands.
How pets help
Our furry family members improve our lives in countless, remarkable ways, by:
- Strengthening social connections
- Increasing mental well-being
- Enhancing emotional health,
- Encouraging physical fitness
- Easing loneliness
- Improving relationships
- Helping to overcome trauma
- Boosting confidence
- Raising self-esteem, and providing a new perspective
The benefits of having a pet are emotional, social, and physical.
Individuals with strong and rewarding social connections are happier, have fewer health problems, and live longer than those who do not. Dogs are especially good at this. Just by going on daily walks, pet owners are more likely to meet and engage with others thanks to the built-in conversation starter of their four-legged companions. Taking care of our pets gives us a purpose.
Not only do our animal companions improve mental well-being, they can actually boost overall health. When petting an animal, we experience the release of the hormone oxytocin into our brains, creating a sense of calm, regulating breathing, and lowering blood pressure and pulse rate. Health is further improved through shared physical activity such as walks, hikes, runs, and playing games like fetch. Pets never judge; instead, they offer only unconditional love, support, and a feeling of safety. All pet owners know that life is better together with our pets, whether we have a dog, cat, rabbit, fish, hedgehog, gerbil, or hamster.