Love must be shown, not just said! This is the case with our loved animals as well, when we share our spaces and our entire lives with them, everyone must be happy, both you and your companion. Our pets need to feel loved because this way they won’t develop depression (yes, they can do that too), this will also lower their anxiety and stress level and the chances of getting sick. We will discuss about the reasons why loving your pet is also good for your health
#1 Healthy Heart
According to the Harvard School of Medicine, studies show that “dog owners have lower blood pressure than non-owners.” They attribute this to the notion that a dog makes them calmer & they also get more exercise on average. They also report that “the power of touch also appears to be an important part of the ‘pet effect’.” Other studies show that heart attack survivors & people with abnormal heart rhythms live longer than people without pets.
#2 Depression Relief
Therese Borchard (Associate Editor of Psych Central) says that one reason pet’s aid in depression relief is simply by offering us unconditional love & acceptance. In a depression study done by John Hopkins- they claim that nursing home residents felt less lonely with an alone visit from a dog, than a visit with both a dog & another resident. Our dog doesn’t care if we look disheveled, or may be having financial or relationship difficulties. When you walk through that door, you are the best thing since sliced bread, and they love to let you know it.
#3 Improved mood
Bond with your dog by treating them to a play session outside or a long walk. This is a great way to show
affection and you’ll find your pet motivating you to get moving. Getting off the couch, out of the house
and into the backyard or park for a game of fetch or tug will bring you closer to Fido and provide you with
Photo: Courtesy of Erin Vey
aerobic exercise as well. Walking in your neighborhood or hiking a nearby trail is a great treat for your
pet, exposes you to new people and places, and is a great mood-booster after a stressful day.
#4 Lower human stress level and cholesterol
Studies have shown that just a few minutes of stroking your pet prompts a release of “feel good”
hormones in humans, including serotonin. In addition, studies show petting helps lower the level of the
stress hormone cortisol, which is responsible for regulating appetite and cravings for carbohydrates.
Giving affection is an important way to bond with your pet, and as you can see, it has many benefits for you. Just remember there is a right time to give praise and affection. According to Cesar Millan, “…. anytime you give affection you reinforce the behavior preceding it. Share your love and affection after a dog has exercised and eaten, changed an unwanted behavior into a behavior you asked for, responded to a rule or command, or entered a calm-submissive state.”
#5 Less stressful life for you
Cesar Millan, professional dog trainer (star of his TV series, The Dog Whisperer), advocates for building a strong relationship with your pet primarily for training purposes. Love, praise and playtime will help you connect with your pet. Having that connection will make it easier to train your dog. Positive reinforcement training begins with leveraging that bond by giving or taking away attention. If you have a good relationship with your pet, they will crave your attention and training away behavior issues will be easier and less stressful for your both.