When’s the last time you hugged someone or held someone’s hand? How about snuggling? Touch is one of the basic needs we have as humans, but with the Covid-19 pandemic, touch is in short supply. Now, more than ever, people are avoiding one another for fear of getting sick. Thankfully, though, there are pets! A pet dog or cat can be a real help to a lonely person who longs to snuggle, hug, and/or touch another living being…
Pet ownership boosts health. Indeed, having a pet dog or cat in the house not only gives a person purpose, since they have to care for their pet, but also companionship, someone to talk to, and a warm, furry snuggle partner when the world seems cold and scary.
How does petting a pet help a person? Well, studies performed by the University of Miami’s Touch Research Institute found that touch helps lessen pain, slows the heart rate, and lowers both blood glucose and blood pressure. Furthermore, touch enhances a person’s alertness and their performance. It also improves a person’s pulmonary and immune functions.
Taking care of a pet can help relieve a person’s pain and depression. If you’ve ever seen how Seniors light up when a dog or cat is brought into a nursing home, you’ll know that pets have the unique ability to elevate people’s moods. There’s a theory that pets boost people’s oxytocin levels. Oxytocin makes people feel good!
Studies of dog owners in Sweden found that those who owned a dog had a lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease. Maybe it’s because dog owners get good exercise walking their dogs.
Studies of cats found that newborns who live with cats in the house have a lower risk of childhood asthma, pneumonia and bronchiolitis.
If you do a Google search about pets and their health benefits, you’ll find even more information regarding the health benefits of pet ownership.