Skip to Content
chevron-left chevron-right chevron-up chevron-right chevron-left arrow-back star phone quote checkbox-checked search wrench info shield play connection mobile coin-dollar spoon-knife ticket pushpin location gift fire feed bubbles home heart calendar price-tag credit-card clock envelop facebook instagram twitter youtube pinterest yelp google reddit linkedin envelope bbb pinterest homeadvisor angies

The Healing Power of PetsThe Healing Power of Pets

Anyone with a pet will tell you: pets are much more than animals. They’re our friends, our confidants, our comforters, and part of our family. Nearly 70 percent of homes in the U.S. have pets, and our pets make our lives better, but could they actually be good for our health?  It might surprise you to know that science says yes. Research done over the past couple of decades shows that pet owners are physically healthier, less likely to suffer from mental health issues, and more likely to survive surgery, cancer treatment, and heart attacks than those without pets. How is this possible?

How Animals Can Improve Mental and Physical Well-Being

One of the ways pets benefit their owners’ health is by providing emotional support and companionship. Because pets offer unconditional love, accepting people without judgement, they can make us feel connected, reducing feelings of isolation. Pet ownership can help reduce stress, depression, and anxiety, and by providing consistency, comfort, and physical affection, with no need for words, pets can significantly impact mental health for the better. There is a chemical basis for our improved mood, too. Interacting positively with our pets causes our brains to release serotonin and oxytocin, the hormones that increase feelings of optimism, confidence, and trust. Petting and cuddling a pet can decrease cortisol (stress hormone) and increase dopamine (pleasure hormone), improving our energy levels, attitudes, and state of mind.

Caring for Pets Benefits Owners, Too

Taking care of another living creature provides a sense of responsibility that increases feelings of self-worth, reduces stress levels, and improves overall feelings of wellbeing. Playing with pets outside increases exposure to sunlight, improving mood, and it pulls us away from our screens, keeping us present in the moment. Pet ownership can increase our physical activity levels, leading to better cardiovascular health and helping to reduce inflammation throughout the body. Caring for a pet gives us a feeling of purpose, and having a living being to protect makes us stronger people.

Interacting with Pets Helps Us Interact with Other Humans

Having a pet can connect you with other people, either because of a shared love of animals, or just because pets provide us with social outlets. Taking your dog to the park, talking to someone about your cat, or joining a group of reptile enthusiasts- these are all interactions that strengthen social skills. What’s more, the unconditional love of a pet can make people more confident and outgoing, as well as helping us learn patience, compassion, and self-control.

Pets Can Be Good for Children

Researchers have found that dogs can help kids with ADHD to focus, can help children with autism spectrum disorder feel calmer, and help children learn responsibility. Reading to therapy dogs helps kids develop social skills, as well as becoming stronger readers. Because animals offer unconditional acceptance, they are comforting to children, and can help them feel more at ease when interacting with other kids. Perhaps more surprising, one study found that caring for fish helped teens with type 1 diabetes take better care of their own health. The routine of caring for their fish helped them stick to their own routine more effectively, and they were more disciplined about checking their blood glucose levels than teens who were not caring for fish.

Is a Pet Right for You?

Pets can offer many health benefits, both physical and mental, but they’re not the right choice for every person. While some studies indicate that early exposure to pets can protect children from developing allergies, people who already have allergies may not be able to tolerate having a pet in the house. It’s also important to consider your own abilities and time constraints; before you take on the responsibility of a pet, make sure you are ready to give your pet the proper attention and care.

 Let Dr. Dave’s Help You Care for Your Pet

If you are looking someone to help you give your pets the care they deserve, Dr. Dave’s Doggy Daycare, Boarding, and Grooming is your one stop shop! Our staff full of pet lovers has extensive experience in the pet care industry, and we understand that your pets deserve the best of everything. If you don’t want your dog to be lonely while you’re away from home, our daycare services will provide socialization with other dogs and a staff that will pay special attention to your pet’s needs. If you need to go out of town, we will keep your dog safe and happy, and we have a certified veterinarian available 24/7 in case of health care issues. Does your pet need grooming? We’ll provide your pet with a spa day worthy of royalty. For more information about all the services we offer to pet lovers and their furry family members, call 408-647-2774 in Saratoga, 408-520-4902 in Campbell, or contact us through our website.