Having a Pet: It Will Do Your Heart Good

by Loree Walden, Marketing Manager, Yavapai Humane Society 

They don’t talk back, they don’t judge us, and they love us more than they love

Anyone who has, or had, a dog, cat or pet of any kind knows that they provide an endless supply of unconditional love. In addition, they also supply an enormous amount of health benefits to us. 

Dogs are extremely tuned in to not only our emotions, but also our physical health. They can detect illnesses in many cases and always know when we just need a hug. Having a dog can help lead to lower levels of stress. They’ve also been found to decrease the risk of asthma and allergies and to help lower blood pressure. In addition, dog owners are more active than those who don’t have dogs as they get out more to walk with them, which also promotes dogs’ health. 

Dogs also tend to help prevent social isolation, which is especially important at this time when we are dealing with social distancing and safety protocols, as dogs seem to “open the door” to conversation. This is also another reason that dog owners are said to be happier in general, because human/dog interaction results in an increase in dopamine levels in the brains of both! 

Studies show that cats, like dogs, are very perceptive to our emotions and illnesses. They also trigger calming chemicals in the body, decreasing stress and anxiety levels. Plus, cat owners are less likely to be at risk for having a stroke than any other pet owners. Cats reduce our risk of heart disease and heart attacks and help to reduce high blood pressure.  

Cats also help to release oxytocin in our bodies, a hormone known for inducing feelings of love and trust. Lastly, cats help boost immunity because exposure to pet dander and fur result in increased resistance to allergens, decreasing the risk for allergies and asthma. 

And don’t forget horses, who not only provide benefits such as companionship, recreation, and relaxation, but they also help improve our health. People who ride horses have better liver function and digestion because riding a horse stimulates internal organs. They also engage the creative side of your brain, keeping you socially active and they help to
boost confidence.

Not only does having a pet help you, it helps them. You’ve given them a home and they provide you with many health benefits and unconditional love.

If you’re looking for your new forever friend, there are a lot of animals at Yavapai Humane Society just waiting for their forever home. Visit yavapaihumane.org to see all the available animals and then make an appointment to come meet them. It will definitely do your heart good.