The saying “man’s best friend” may refer to a pet like a dog, but it can hold much more meaning. Many humans and their dogs have an unbreakable bond, and this saying can stretch well beyond dogs and include all types of pets. Whether you have a dog, cat, bird, fish, horse, etc., there are a number of psychological, social, and emotional benefits to animal companionship.

Emotional/Mental Benefits

People who experience stress, anxiety, depression, and other psychological ailments have been proven to show an increase in dopamine levels and a decrease in heart rate when interacting with a pet. Examples of how pets can help someone emotionally include comfort for PTSD, someone who has lost a loved one, someone with stress, or someone who is mentally or physically disabled. Whether you are petting a dog or watching a fish swim around in its tank, the emotional benefits of having an animal companion are enormous. Whether it is your personal pet or a service animal, pets have the ability to decrease the negative emotions a human is experiencing. Stressful situations can increase anxiety levels, heart rate, blood pressure, and more. However, if you were to have someone in one of these situations interact with an animal, there is a significant likelihood that their stress levels would decrease.

Physical Benefits

Now you aren’t going to get much exercise with a pet fish, but if you’re a proud dog owner, you need to take advantage of walking with your pooch. Not only are regular walks healthy for your dog, but also for you. There are instances where cats like to be walked too, so if you own a cat who is trained for trapesing, it doesn’t hurt to take them on a little adventure either.

Not often thought of as a physical benefit, service animals are trained to recognize and act on someone who is experiencing epilepsy or a seizure. Service dogs can also be trained to help assist people who are deaf or blind. These service animals keep their owners safe, comfortable, and happier due to their physical abilities. Overall, service animals improve the quality of life for their beloved owners.

Social Benefits

People love animals. How many times have you talked to someone out in public because their dog came up to you and licked you, or you asked if you could pet a dog passing by? Social interaction is sometimes hard, but with cute critters around you, it makes it a bit easier to initiate a conversation.

Activities you can do with a dog include going to dog parks, taking them on walks, and hitting the lake with them. All of these are activities where you can run into other people with dogs. By walking around your neighborhood with your dog, you are guaranteed to run into people, including fellow dog walkers. Cats can also be social facilitators too. If you have an outdoor cat, your neighbors are likely to recognize it over the course of time, and it gives you something to talk about with them, especially if they have kids who want to pet it.

Let Dogwood Vet Take Care of Your Animal Companions

Overall animal companions improve the quality of life of their owners on mental, physical, and social levels. The general happiness that is experienced by owning a pet is incomparable to many other forms of happiness. The bond between human and animal is a unique defining factor of our race that has been active for thousands of years.

At Dogwood Vet, we want to make sure your animal companion is as healthy as can be. Give us a call today to schedule an appointment at (919) 942-6330 for routine check-ups and care.