Our view of human-animal bond has changed quite drastically in the past couple of decades. Back in the days, you wouldn’t judge a person based on their relationship and emotions towards dogs, but today that’s a different story. If a person owns a dog or simply loves spending time with them, they show clear signs of good mental health. This opinion exists for a reason and many studies have shown that owning a dog can bring numerous psychological benefits to their owners.
They promise a longer life
A study conducted in Melbourne, Australia has shown that pet owners have fewer issues with their blood pressure and cholesterol than people who have no pets. What is more, even though both groups of people had some bad lifestyle habits, such as smoking or high-fat diet, dog owners still showed signs of a healthier mind and body, which significantly influences the longevity of one’s life.
They make us less stressed
The omnipresent stress in our lives affects our bodies and mental health in many negative ways. In some cases, stress can lead to some major psychological issues, nervous breakdowns and even depression. However, dog owners have shown results of having less stressful lives. The main reason for this is petting. This rhythmic act of petting your dog and grooming it can bring plenty of comfort to a person. When you connect with your pet, the hormone related to anxiety and stress relief (oxytocin) is released which lowers the blood pressure levels and leaves you in peace.
They offer social support
The emotional bond with a pet can significantly benefit people who have inadequate human social support. It is hard for some people to communicate with others and that’s why they opt for having a dog. However, when they are out walking the dog, their little pet can be a great conversation starter which can result in better social interaction. Social interaction is significant for everyone, because it gives us purpose and makes are more confident. Additionally, people who are not loved by their human companions but live with their dog are less likely to develop clinical depression than non-pet owners. Even if there are times when you want to be alone or to travel without your dog, you still can benefit from their support. There are companies that offer pet boarding services handled by professionals that can handle your dog while you are alone. This way, you still can meet new people and bond with them, especially because your dog managed to trust them and establish a good relationship.
They both distract us and keep us present
If you are having a bad stressful day, engaging in activities with your pet can distract you and help you clear your mind. When you are fully present in the moment with your pet you are not worrying about anything; your past, future or any other issue you have. This can lower your stress levels, help you relive anxiety and improve your mental health overall, because you can learn how to focus on a positive thing right by your side.
They lessen loneliness
Pets are great domestic companions for those who don’t like being alone. Being alone for too long will induce the feeling of loneliness, which can later lead to major psychological issues, such as depression. However, don’t use a dog as a temporary way of curing your loneliness. If you establish a good relationship with it and you take good care of it you will never feel alone again, because a dog will always be there to support you and love you unconditionally.
Saying that a dog is a man’s best friend is there for a reason. They can help and support us on so many different levels without us even noticing it.