The Positive Influence of Pets…
How Dogs Affect your Brain Chemistry
Ever had ‘one of those days’? You know the ones. Nothing seems to go right. Maybe you’re not feeling well. Things just seem to be a bit ‘off.’ Then, you come home to a burst of energy powering toward you for the simplest of reasons, a pet, a hug, and a lick. You see your dogs and you just smile. All the negativity from your day has evaporated and you feel better. Calmer.
We may say a dog is a man’s best friend, and it’s true! Pets are not only good for your health but can even change your brain chemistry. Now, how is that for natural stimuli! Puppies and children go together like peanut butter and jelly, but pets make great companions for people of all ages! Below are 5 health reasons to have a pet no matter what stage of life you’re in.
5 Reasons Pets Rock
Before reaping the benefits of a pet, it is first handy to know which size dog best fits your lifestyle. For example, big dogs are great but can be a handful, so they need plenty of room to roam and play. Whereas smaller dogs are more suited to compact housing like apartments, where they are easier to handle, more tranquil, and gentler playmates at any age. While companionship tops the list for good reasons to have a pet, here’s a few perhaps surprising reasons why they are incredibly beneficial to your social, mental, and physical health.
Making new friends
Dogs are great icebreakers. They’re conversation starters. “Oh, what a beautiful dog? What’s its name?” And so, the conversation begins. If you are naturally quite a shy or reserved person when it comes to meeting new people, a dog is a great way to overcome that social barrier. There are also plenty of activities for people with pets such as community walks or other group outings to help you come out of your shell and meet people with similar interests and hobbies to yours.
If you’re out and about with your pup, you may notice your neighborhood garden needs cleaning up or the nearest park needs a little tidy. Or, if your pet makes you feel better at home, what could it do for someone in the hospital for example? Did you know you could volunteer to bring your pet in to visit patients? The point is you may think you just enjoy walking as a hobby with your dog but it can open you up to so many other activities you may not have realised you have a passion for.
Knowing you have a fur‐ever friend and a constant companion, adds to your sense of wellbeing. Feeling stressed? Pet a dog. Worried? Pet a dog. Something to work through? Take the pup for a walk and clear your mind. Whether you live on your own or have a chaotic family lifestyle, a dog can bring a bit of peace and serenity to your mental and emotional state.
Dogs Provide Protection
A dog’s bark may be worse than their bite, especially if it’s a smaller dog. But a burglar may not know that. Pets give you a sense of security and safety knowing that somebody’s got your back… Even if it isn’t a human! If you show loyalty and love for your furry friend, you will receive it back x100 which is one of the most rewarding personal reasons to have a pet.
Commitment to and for life
Taking care of another creature depends on you. It depends on your promise to feed, water, take to the vet when needed, play with, and pet your pup. Having this role of responsibility inevitably leads to a routine of more exercise, getting out, and enjoying life while making friends and connecting with the world around you- What’s not to love!
Dogs and Brain Chemistry
As exciting as the above reasons are to have a pet, did you know it goes one step further? Read on to learn how having a pet can change your brain chemistry and function.
What is it that makes the influence of dogs in our lives so enjoyable? In a study that brought together dogs and teenage boys suffering from addiction, depression, and PTSD, interacting with dogs improved their mood and mental wellbeing. Reports included improved joyfulness, serenity, and peace.
So, what’s at work here? Remember the excitement you felt when you saw a puppy, or a bad day that turned to calm after you greeted a dog? This is dopamine; natural stimuli that your brain creates! As a consequence, social interaction with animals provides a vehicle for companionship, healthier habits, and new friendships.
If adult dogs can do all that, imagine how much happier pet owners who begin with pups and form lifelong bonds must be!
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