Pet Therapy And Your Emotional Health

Those of us who own pets know they make us happy. And thankfully, a growing body of scientific research is showing that our pets are good for our emotional well being.

I have forever had a dog and despite the inevitable heart break, this has been an never ending love affair. Whether you are dealing with depression or anxiety, pets have a way of calming you down. One study even indicates that when people with borderline hypertension adopted dogs from a shelter, their blood pressure declined significantly within five months.

Research also indicates, when dealing with stressful situations at work or home  playing with your pet can elevate levels of serotonin and dopamine, which calm and relax. Research indicates, pet owners have lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels (indicators of heart disease) than those without pets.

Besides your emotional well being, they also take care of your physical well being. They get you going, allowing you to blow off pent up stress and relax, distracting you from situations/ things you could be battling with and forcing you to be in the present.

While, pets are miracle mood enhancers, do ensure that you are taking care of them and not just using them to entertain you temporarily and then abandon them. Don’t scream/ shout at them, pets especially dogs are hyper sensitive about our moods. It’s like having a child at home. Imagine the emotional trauma you could cause to a being who is voiceless and unable to express his anxiety. In fact, pets can teach you emotional discipline with their unconditional love. If you see you dog hiding behind couches or going in another room and hiding – it’s a sure red flag for you not to have a pet.

Every time you walk through your door they will be as enthusiastic as they were when you first got them. Caring for your pets is extremely rewarding for your emotional health. With growing children in the house, pets can encourage expressing love, being responsible and being a kind human – which goes a long way in bringing up emotionally healthy adults.

Try and get a pet from the shelter, they make excellent companions. They teach you that though life is short, all you can do is love unconditionally and be grateful.

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