Health Benefits of Pets

Did you know that, as well as being generally delightful, spending quality time with your pet is associated with scientifically-proven physical and mental health benefits?

The simple companionship of a pet can be a great source of mental support and comfort, and can help to reduce feelings of loneliness - especially important in these times!

Having an animal buddy can also promote greater social interaction, whether by facilitating introductions with your neighbours, or encouraging “micro-interactions” with members of your local community whilst out on walks. In fact, a 2017 Australian study found that over 60% of dog owners got to know their neighbours through their pets!

Not surprisingly, when you bring pet cuddles into the equation, things get even better! Calmly interacting with your pet can promote the release of “happy” hormones such as serotonin and oxytocin, which can help us to feel relaxed and calm. Additionally, quality pet interactions can also reduce cortisol – the stress hormone.

Whilst a degree of cortisol release is normal, chronically elevated cortisol is associated with:

  • Reduced immunity
  • Elevated blood glucose
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Increased anxiety
  • Weight gain
  • Poor gut health

Studies have shown that spending time with companion animals can particularly help those with chronic mental health conditions, helping to promote feelings of calmness and clarity in people with anxiety, children on the autism spectrum and people suffering from dementia.

Lastly, dogs in particular have been shown to promote low-stress, increased physical activity. As well as being a great way to have fun and relax, “walkies” with your dog can aid weight loss, and potentially lower your risk of heart disease via lowering blood pressure, serum triglycerides (unhealthy fats in the blood) and cholesterol levels!

With this in mind, our team are happy to supply the following prescription:

  • Medication: Pet cuddles x 100
  • Instructions: Administer generously for health benefits and joy!