Pets Helping their Humans

As humans, we do a lot for our pets; we walk them, feed them, play with them, groom them and, of course, love them. But what do our pets do for us? The answer is more than you think.

According to a study by the University of Missouri’s Research Center for Human-Animal Interaction (ReCHAI), having pets around can lower stress hormones like cortisol and increase the release of hormones linked to low stress and happiness like oxytocin.

ReCHAI says this is especially important in older adults and can actually increase the length of a person’s life. The push for pets being allowed in nursing homes has recently become prevalent because the health benefits of having a pet.

Pets can also inspire an active and healthy lifestyle. Whether an owner is walking their dog, chasing their cat or riding their horse, that little bit of activity is good for the owner and their pet.

Not only are pets good for your physical health, but they are good for mental health, too. Animals of all species are being used now in various therapies for mental illnesses. Therapy animals help patients feel relaxed. According to ReCHAI, even touching an animal can help a human feel more relaxed.

According to a study by the University of Missouri’s Research Center for Human-Animal Interaction (ReCHAI), having pets around can lower stress hormones like cortisol and increase the release of hormones linked to low stress and happiness like oxytocin.”

War veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder can have a really hard time adjusting to normal life, but there a various programs like Pets for Vets, Paws for Veterans and Canines 4 Hope that provide service dogs and emotional support dogs to help veterans.

Service dogs can help more than just veterans. There are now dogs trained to help with  many different mental illnesses like depression, anxiety and autism.

Therapists and psychologists have also experienced the benefits of pets while dealing with patients, especially adolescents. Children and teens tend to feel more comfortable around an animal which leads them to open up easier and be more talkative during their session.

Even though it may feel like you do more for your pets than they do for you, just know that they can help you be healthy and they will always love you unconditionally.