Whether you believe it or not, there is now scientific proof that pets have heart strengthening, blues fighting, body-slimming and stress-calming super powers.
I know it may not seem like that when you are cleaning out the litter box or taking your puppy out for the 3rd time at 4am, when you need to get up for work in two hours.
The American Heart Association says that people who own any type of pet have better cholesterol levels, a lower risk of hypertension and ultimately a lower rate of heart disease than those without any critters.
So, how do they do this?
The first obvious is that your dog makes you go outside, so the cardiac benefits, weight benefits, stress reduction benefits are obvious. But did you know, that by gazing into your dog’s eyes, it releases oxytocin in your brain? that hormone relaxes you and helps you bond with others.
The second obvious is watching your fish swim in his tank, it can be incredibly calming, reducing your heart and stress rate, reducing cortisol levels.
Brain scans show, every time you speak to your pet in a loving way, it releases both oxytocin and prolactin (both integral to nurturing), as well as the neurotransmitters dopamine and phenylethylamine (which boosts your mood). The effects are boosted further during tactical experiences, petty and stroking them.
A 2015 study in the Journal of Science found an oxytocin loop between animals and their humans, similar to what happens between humans. Besides making all of us feel better, it relieves stress and in fact curtails the stress response.
I’m sure there are so many other benefits that I haven’t listed here, but with something this good, its hard to not have several.