How Pet Ownership Can Improve Your Health

February is of course the month we celebrate Valentine’s Day, but this month you’ll also have a chance to show your pets how much you love them!  February 20th is Love Your Pet Day and at Resurgens Orthopaedics, we’re celebrating by telling you about a few more ways in which owning a pet can improve your overall health.  We’ve already talked about how activities like walking your dog can do wonders for the health of your musculoskeletal system, but today we’d like to shed some light on all the other ways in which pet ownership can make you healthier.  Here’s more about how the love and companionship your pets provide can impart benefits to your health.

Pets Reduce Your Stress Level

Whether you’re a dog person, a cat person, or even a lizard person, caring for a pet is a proven stress reducer.  When you come home from a tough day and your pet is there waiting to greet you, it’s hard to stay stressed.  As you interact with your pet, that stress melts away, which has an enormous impact on your body.  With your body’s stress response neutralized, your blood pressure returns to normal, your heart rate drops, and your muscles are better able to relax.  In this state, you’ll not only reduce strain on your cardiovascular system, but your blood flow will improve as well, making it easier for your body to recover from injuries.

Reduced Feelings of Loneliness

Research shows that nearly half of Americans report feeling alone or isolated.  Behavioral health experts say the health risks posed by loneliness rival those of smoking and even obesity.  Loneliness can lead to feelings of depression, which are associated with other conditions like obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and more, so you can see why it’s not just a problem that affects your mind.  If you feel lonely or isolated, it can be hard to break out of that cycle but pet ownership could be just the answer you’re looking for.  When you love your pet, they love you back unconditionally.  It’s hard to feel lonely when you have an adorable animal who loves you more than the world!

Providing a Sense of Purpose

Feeling like you lack a sense of purpose is another big factor that can lead to symptoms of depression and loneliness.  Caring for a pet can do a lot to provide that sense of purpose.  When you have an animal depending on you, it can give you the drive you need to be successful.  Those feelings can feed back in to creating a positive energy in your life, giving you the motivation you need to make healthy decisions regarding your diet, your exercise routine, and more.  If you have trouble finding that motivation normally, your pet can be exactly the catalyst you need to make healthy changes in your life.

Although owning a pet can impart all these health benefits and more, we know that’s not why you love your pets.  You love them because they’re so cute, and because they love you back!  On this Love Your Pets Day, why not take the opportunity to show your pets how much you care?  And from all of us at Resurgens Orthopaedics, we hope you love your pets as much as we love ours!