The relationship between people and animals is a strong one and pets that help humans reduce stress levels can really make a difference. Caring for a dog or cat can help you relax and stay centered in the present moment. Plus, furry friends are happy to be there whenever you need a listening ear.
How Do Pets Help Lower Stress?
Animals play a big part in lowering symptoms of stress. The simplicity of caring for them can counter a high stress lifestyle. There is nothing like having a cat or small dog sit with you and beg for your attention to keep you focused on the present. The simple act of petting an animal is wonderfully rewarding and a great way to ease stress. The following are a few other ways that pets help people reduce stress:
- Exercise: Taking a dog for a walk or playing Frisbee helps you get exercise.
- Social: Animals often make people more social and pet owners tend to interact together.
- Love: Cuddling with a cat or small dog on your lap will help you feel loved and needed during lonely times.
- Well-being: Giving excellent care to family pets, such as grooming and spending quality time with them contributes to a general sense of well-being.
Pets that Help Humans Reduce Stress
Many pets help humans reduce stress levels. The type of pet depends on what kind of animals you like, as studies have shown that having any pet is a stress reducer. Consider these kinds of animals that might be helpful for you:
- Dogs: Dogs are loyal, loving, and like an animal best friend.
- Cats: Cats are typically easy to own and will happily sit in your lap.
- Fish: A fish tank has a calming effect for any room.
- Horse: Riding or grooming horses can be a relaxing activity.
- Birds: Birds will uplift your mood with their singing.
If You're Considering Getting a Pet
If you are thinking about getting a pet, make sure the experience won't increase your stress level. Owning a new pet is a lot of work, especially in the beginning. Dealing with a kitten or training a new puppy can be stressful in itself. So make sure you are prepared and have the resources to properly care for your pet. Also, owning a pet is a lifetime commitment, so if you're still unsure, wait to get a pet and try some alternatives to pet ownership.
Alternatives to Pet Ownership
Perhaps you are allergic to pets, travel often, or simply don't have time to give a pet the time and attention it needs. There are alternatives to actually owning a pet that can give you stress reducing benefits. These include:
- Volunteering: Your local animal shelter likely uses volunteers to do things such as exercise and play with dogs, cuddle with cats, and interact with other small animals. This is a great way to spend time with furry friends without actually owning one.
- Fostering: Many nonprofits and animal shelters often need foster families to take care of sick, young, old, or needy animals for a short period of time. You can get a taste of pet ownership or simply help pets in need by fostering pets at your home until they are ready to be adopted.
- Pet Therapy: Therapy animals typically visit hospitals, work in therapeutic settings, or assist the disabled. These pets are trained to behave in public and are a great way to comfort those people in need. Foster homes are also needed for therapy animals in training.
Pets Help Reduce Stress
Whether you are a pet owner, have pets visit, work with pet therapy animals, volunteer at an animal shelter, these are many examples of pets that help humans reduce stress levels. Both you and the pets benefit greatly, so this is a great stress reducer to implement.