It’s no secret that having a pet can make you healthier. Some of the benefits are obvious – walking and running with your pet increases your fitness and ensures you get outside for fresh air every day. However, for most of us, the downtime at the end of the day is where we connect with our pets. But is all this relaxing together with our furry companions just good for our physical health?

The good news is that any time spent in the company of a four-legged companion has the potential to improve the state of our overall health and wellness. Let The Pet Experts highlight the many benefits of relaxing with your pet!

The Benefits of Companionship

Spending time around an animal can be an incredible boost to your physical and mental well being. Consider the following benefits to your heart and mind:  

  • Improved heart health – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institute for Health (NIH) have conducted heart-related studies showing that pet owners tend to have lower blood pressure, triglycerides, and cholesterol than non-pet owners. Pet owners who have experienced a heart attack also experience faster recoveries.
  • Stress relief – A 2002 study at State University of New York at Buffalo found that, when asked to complete a stressful task, people experienced significantly less stress when their pet was with them (including when their spouse, family member, or close friend was present).
  • Social support – Pet owners tend to experience less loneliness and isolation – especially senior pet owners. Being out and about with a pet also increases the opportunities to strike up a conversation with others, leading to more social interaction and potential friendships.
  • Less allergies  – Cuddling with the family pet is fun and may have a lasting impact on a child’s health. Exposure to pet dander and bacteria early in life has been linked to decreased rates of asthma and allergies in adults.
  • Mood boost – Not only do pets bring an element of joy, laughter, and unconditional love to each day, petting an animal boosts levels of “feel good” hormones in the body.

Relaxing with Your Pet

Whether you’re taking a stroll through the neighborhood together, checking out a new dog park, or spending the evening parked on the couch watching movies, the ideas for relaxing with your pet are nearly endless. The best part is, your pet probably doesn’t care what activity you choose, just as long as you’re together! Make a commitment to spend some quality time each day with your furry companion, and you’ll be sure to reap all the physical and emotional benefits of this wonderful, unique bond.
Do you have questions or concerns about your best friend? The Pet Experts at Wheaton Animal Hospital are here for you. Please don’t hesitate to contact our staff!