Do you know pets have healing power? Such as
- Lower blood pressure
- less risk of heart disease
- reduced anxiety
The number of scientifically proven health benefits of pet ownership is rising faster than the number of chew toys strewn around your house.
These health pluses aren’t just the result of the extra exercise you get walking your dog or playing hide-and-seek with your cat. The bond that you and your pet develop is also part of the equation.
“Owning a pet gives you a sense of purpose and belonging that can increase feelings of positivity and lower stress levels, all of which translates to health benefits,” says Allen McConnell, PhD, a psychology professor at Miami University who studies human-pet interaction.
Research shows that people who interact with animals experience a boost in levels of oxytocin, the hormone that promotes love and trust and is linked to reduced blood pressure and heart rate. Regularly playing with your pet helps too. “Play, such as challenging your pet to find a hidden toy, helps build the bond between owner and pet and brings you closer,” says Kate Perry, a certified dog trainer and the author of Training for Both Ends of the Leash.