February 20th is National Love Your Pet Day. With 51 million pets in the UK, there is no doubt the nation is full of pet lovers.
Did you know having a furry friend in the home is good for your mental wellbeing? In fact, scientists are suggesting that pets should be a main part of the support network for those suffering from mental illnesses.
tombola has gathered ten reasons why pets are the best friend you can have, as well as the best (dog & cat) breeds for those considering a pet to help mental health.
10 Reasons To Love Your Pet This ‘National Love Your Pet Day’:
1) Petting a dog for only 15 minutes lowers blood pressure by 10%.
2) It releases serotonin, oxytocin, prolactin and even lowers the stress hormone cortisol. These feel-good hormones lower our stress and anxiety, serotonin being the main thing antidepressants try to replicate.
3) Cats, rabbits and even turtles have the same effect, studies show.
4) Residents in a nursing home felt less lonely after spending time with pooches than being with humans.
5) Children favour their pets over their siblings: “The fact that pets cannot understand or talk back may even be a benefit as it means they are completely non-judgmental.”
6) A hospital in the U.S scanned mothers’ brains who owned a dog. They found that their brains were activated in similar ways when viewing their own child and their own dog. There is also evidence to show the relation with our dog is extraordinarily like the parent-child bond.
7) Burns Pet Nutrition revealed this week that cuddling up with the dog (50 per cent) tops cuddling up on the sofa with a partner (36 per cent).
8) The American Heart Association has linked the ownership of pets with a reduced risk of heart disease and greater longevity.
9) Growing up in a less sterile environment – surrounded by animals, pet hair and dust not only gives us a better immune system but also benefits our body’s response to anxiety.
10) Wheelchair users with a dog reported that they engaged in more conversations with strangers than those without.
Pets: Helping You Cope
Pets can help us cope with tough times and dogs, more than any other animal has become attuned to humans. They’re able to pick up on our emotions, moods and behaviours, and while dog and cat owners alike can attest to the joys of snuggling up to or playing with their cuddly companions, science can now prove these benefits too.
Read the full study: https://www.tombola.co.uk/pages/pets