Can Being a Pet Parent Improve Your Health and Wellbeing?

If you know me or follow me on social media, you know I’m a dog mama to my sweet golden retriever pup Congo. Ever since I adopted him when I was living in Colombia, my life has been just so enhanced by his sweet, loving presence. Who can be sad with a big, furry cuddle bug who loves to be taken on long walks and runs?

When I was writing this, I actually accidentally wrote “dog post” instead of “blog post” – so here’s your “dog post” about how pets can actually improve your health and well-being!

If you’re considering adopting a furry friend, you may be interested to know that pet ownership actually comes with plenty of health benefits. Pets have been shown to lower stress, improve mood, and even help treat certain health conditions.

Here are 5 of the ways a pet can improve your overall wellbeing:

Lower stress and anxiety: Petting, holding, and playing with your pet releases oxytocin and dopamine in the brain, which helps relieve stress and anxiety. Pets also provide unconditional love and comfort, especially during difficult times. 

Improve mood: The bond you form with your pet can boost feelings of happiness, joy and satisfaction. Interacting with your furry companion stimulates positive emotions that improve your mood.

Increase exercise: Walking, playing and grooming your pet provides an incentive to be more physically active. Most pets require regular walks and exercise, which benefits both you and your pet.

Strengthen social life: Having a pet encourages you to socialize more as you meet other pet owners during walks, at the dog park or the vet’s office. This improved social interaction reduces feelings of isolation and loneliness. My dog is way more extroverted than me, so I always appreciate that he helps me meet other people (and dog friends, too!).

Lower risk of heart disease: Pets have been found to lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels, which decreases the risk of heart disease and stroke. The calming influence of pets helps keep your heart healthy.

So if you’re looking for a simple lifestyle change that can improve your mental and physical health, consider adopting a pet. The unconditional love, joy and companionship you gain from your furry friend will surely enhance your overall wellbeing. I know it’s been a game changer in my life.

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