Feeling Stressed? How Pets Lift Our Mood & Help Us Heal

Animals play a huge role in so many people’s lives and there’s no doubt that coming across a cute puppy or kitten brings an instant smile, but how deep that “good feeling” goes is the real question. We know the benefits of service animals like seeing-eye dogs, or dogs that can detect seizures or sense blood sugar spikes for diabetics. There’s also animals used in occupational therapy, speech therapy or even physical rehabilitation that assist in patient recovery. Aside from these tested therapeutic benefits, animals are companions that easily boost the quality of life for their owners. But how beneficial is their companionship to our health?

“We found that pet owners, on average, were better off than non-owners, especially when they have a higher-quality relationship with their pets,” says pet researcher Allen R. McConnell, PhD.

Most pet owners will agree that a snuggle session with their cat or dog after a hard day at work can provide calming and relaxing feelings right away. Research has shown the incredible power animals have on physical health almost instantly. Companion pets have shown positive results in helping lower blood pressure and regulating the heart rate, which raises the thought that pets might help in lowering the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases down the line.