Pets are great for our mental health. In recent years, our understanding of just how beneficial animals can be to our health has increased massively. Now, they are used in a multitude of ways, from aiding in physical recovery, to helping combat loneliness in elderly people and instil a sense of routine.
Animals really are amazing, aren’t they?
Yesterday, we looked at the chemical reactions that occur in our bodies when we cuddle our pets, and how similar these relationships are to our human relationships. But, they do more than simply cheer us up – far from it, in fact.
Pets also have a significant effect on us physically, and your pet’s temperament can have affect your bodily processes.
Here’s what happens…
When we feel comfortable with our pets, the chemical Oxytocin is released. This chemical is renowned for lowering heart rate and blood pressure, as well as relieving stress. They also cause the release of Dopamine, the ‘pleasure hormone’ that helps boost mood and long-term memory.
It’s no surprise that we choose to have pets as our companions – the rewards are massive. However, this comes as a result of choosing the right pet, and can affect us adversely if we get the choice wrong.
The love that we give to our pets has to be reciprocated for us to feel the benefits. So, for example, loyal dogs like Pugs and Labradors are likely to affect us positively, as they’re social and constantly by our side.
However, independent pets will not elicit the same response. Dog breeds, such as Great Pyrenees, as well as outdoor cats are not likely to stimulate the release of such chemicals, meaning that they won’t have such a profound effect. That’s not to say that the bond isn’t there, just that the triggers that affect us aren’t so obvious.
More significantly, a lack of control over our pets can trigger the release of stress hormones such as Cortisol and Adrenaline. These chemicals raise blood pressure and heart rate, and can have long-term effects on the immune system. Therefore, they can be detrimental to our overall health.
It’s important, therefore, that you choose the pet that’s right for you. While we think that all pets deserve a loving home, it’s essential that you give your decision proper thought, and ensure that you choose the right pet for the long-term.
We might not think it, but we depend on our pets just as much as they depend on us!
If you’re an animal lover but aren’t in a situation to take on the responsibility of a pet full-time, why not apply to be a carer with Tailster? Once approved, you’ll be able to help owners by caring for their pets when they can’t, and earn money for doing it! For more information on our full service, click here.