If hugging your furry friends always makes you feel better after a particularly stressful day, you’re not alone. Pets have been found to be beneficial to our mind and body ever since the human-animal relationship has existed. Next time you’re having a bad day, give Fido a squeeze and enjoy some of these health benefits:
1) Having a pet promotes cardiovascular health: Studies have shown that owning a pet reduces stress and encourages the owners to be more active, lowering blood pressure and cholesterol and creating a strong heart.
2) Having a furry friend increases your exercise levels: A huge part of owning a dog (or some cats) is making sure they get their daily dose of exercise. Incidentally, you also get to enjoy some benefits from performing the chore. Pet owners have been found to be more active and less likely to be obese than the rest of the population.
3) Furry friends = human friends: Having a pet in public encourages conversations between you and other pet lovers. More social interactions are good for your mental well-being, increase your self-esteem and keep your dog well-socialized.
4) Bad mood? Nuzzle your pet: Your pet’s love for you can raise your self-confidence and mood at the end of a hard day. Such an unconditional love can boost spirits and feelings of self-worth.
5) Give your kids a stronger immune system: Many studies suggest that kids growing up with animals will have a lower incidence of allergies or asthma. Being around dogs since infancy also encourages a stronger immune system.