Anxious? Depressed? Stressed out? Some people are now swearing by something that is quickly becoming known as “The Pet Effect” by seeking relief in the form of a wet nose and a wagging tail!
Any pet owner will tell you that a lot of work goes into owning and caring for a four legged companion, but they will also tell you that the rewards, greatly outweigh the work required! It will not come as a surprise the fact that over 95% of people with pets consider their pet to be a member of their family!
Surveys and studies have shown that not only are pet owners happier people, but, they’re healthier too, with most reporting an improvement in mental health either for themselves or for other members in their household.
The field of human-animal bond research is dedicated to studying the health benefits of pets and human-animal interaction. Positive human-animal interaction is related to the changes in physiological variables both in humans and animals, including a reduction of stress, fear and anxiety. Science demonstrates that these responses generate measurable clinical effects.
Specifically, pets can help alleviate stress, anxiety, depression, and feelings of loneliness and social isolation. Interactions with animals have been proven to help people suffering with long term mental health issues alleviate their symptoms and in all manage their condition better. Pets provide a sense of security and routine as well as offering us emotional and social support, helping facilitate the likes of friendship formation.
We can see this in practice almost daily, especially at present, with our newsfeeds and social media networks often loaded with heart-warming content highlighting how pets have helped vulnerable people through the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent period of lockdown.
Who knew our furry children brought such benefits to our health?!