Do you know the famous quote by Mark Twain? – ‘The more I get to know people, the more I love my dog.’? We do not think that you should cut people out of your life and spend your time with dogs and cats only. The truth is, however, that animals have amazing power to improve human’s life. Their unconditional love is a cure for lonely people to feel needed and loved again. Also, dogs and cats have the ability to give a person a new goal in life, especially when someone is depressed and lost the energy to live. Owning a cat or a dog obliged you to take responsibility for a living creature, which sometimes is a chance to focus on a pet instead of on ourselves.
Read our article to find out more about how pets can boost your health.
- Mental health
People who suffer from mental disorders like anxiety and depression understand how important is to feel compassion and love, especially during the hardest episodes. The worst-case scenario is to feel lonely, extremely sad, and not care properly. Obviously, our cat or dog won’t make tea for us or tell us how to solve the problems. However, what they can do is to be a silent therapist who listens to everything you need to tell, whom you can hug to feel the warmth and touch.
Hugging a dog and a cat helps to reduce depression and it also impacts the physical pain. If you need someone who will be a trustworthy companionship and an additional cure, you should definitely consider adopting a cat or a dog. Or both if you have enough space at home. Also, did you know that even watching on-line videos of cats and dogs can make you feel better and calmer?
- Help for the body
We have mentioned above that hugging reduces physical pain. It is not a myth that it works just like painkillers. And there are no side effects! For example, cats can lower the risk of having a heart attack. Why? Their owners are less stressed and rarely suffer from anxiety.
Having a dog demands physical activity because you need to take him for a walk every day. Very often the owners run with the dogs, take them to the mountains and generally, stay active thanks to the animal. Also, if a child lives with a cat or a dog, there is a big chance that he or she will have better immunity for allergies than children who don’t live with pets.
- Developing empathy and protection
Owning a dog has a significant impact on our body and soul but also on our personality. Every dog and cat owner knows that if you want to give your pet the best life, you need to show a lot of empathy. We need to remember that an animal is not a toy but a family member. Animals have feelings just like humans and treating them with empathy, make their (and ours) lives better.
Also, giving your child a chance to bring up with pets is unimaginably valuable. There are reports that children who live with dogs and cats since early childhood have more compassion, empathy, kindness, and protectiveness not only for animals but also for humans.
4. Increasing the oxytocin level
Oxytocin is called a hug hormone or a love hormone because there is an increase in the level of this hormone when we are hugged by someone or when we hug people and animals. Obviously, not everyone will react that way. A person who is afraid of dogs will be terrified around him and not eager to hug. However, if you are an animal lover, your brain will definitely feel the difference when it comes to the oxytocin level and the benefits are incredible.
A higher level of this hormone is connected with a lower level of depression. When it is secreted into the brain, it can impact our emotional reactions to the particular events in our lives. Also, our social behavior is boosted by oxytocin, thus interactions with people can become easier for us.
5. Sense of belonging
Both people and pets, especially dogs, need to feel that they belong to someone, this one special person, special family and home where they feel safe and loved. Owning a dog, hugging and taking care of him, is beneficial for both parties. We feel that we have someone to love and to care about, and the dog feels secure and protected. Dogs who live in the shelters have to share the time of their carers with other dogs, thus very often they feel lonely. Being able to observe a change of adopted dog is amazing and it shows how love and affection can change lives.
Dogs use hugs just like we do, to show their emotions, happiness, and love. Coming back home after a long day at work and seeing this happy face and wagging tail when we open the door is worth every effort. For dogs, a feeling that they are loved gives happiness. Like I mentioned before, they have more common with people that we can imagine.
Owning a dog or a cat has incredible advantages in human’s life. Not only can it boost our physical health but it also positively impacts mental condition. What is more, bringing up a child and at the same time owning a dog is a perfect chance to teach a child how to treat animals and how to develop empathy. It can be the start of an amazing bond and friendship between a child and a pet.
We hope that this article showed you how cats and dogs can boost your health and why those special creatures deserve our love, time, and care.