The bonds that exist between pets and humans are powerful. Most pet owners know the joys of sharing their lives with them. However, many people are unaware of the psychological effects of having a dog as a pet.
According to a 2015 Harris poll, 95 percent of pet owners think they are just another member of the family. Children, teens, adults, and seniors find joy in their pets.
Many scientific studies have shown the mental health benefits of keeping a dog as a pet. Dogs help with depression, anxiety, stress, relieve loneliness, encourage exercise and fun, and even improve your cardiovascular health .
On the other hand, taking care of a dog can help children grow up more confident and active. Pets also provide valuable companions for older adults. However, perhaps most importantly, a pet can add unconditional love and joy to your life.
- Psychological effects of having a dog as a pet
- 1.- Pets reduce stress hormones
- 2.- They help against anxiety
- 3.- They help people with depression
- 4.- They reduce social isolation
- 5.- They help build healthy habits
- 6.- They support recovery from mental illnesses
- Psychological effects of having a dog as a pet on older people
- 7.- They increase the vitality of the person
- 8.- They increase the feeling of satisfaction
- Psychological effects of having a dog as a pet on children
- 9.- They help children with autism or learning difficulties
- 10.- They help to develop a positive self-image
Psychological effects of having a dog as a pet
1.- Pets reduce stress hormones
Petting a dog, cat, or other animal can help lower your blood pressure, making you feel calmer and less stressed. Additionally, interacting with a dog reduces the levels of cortisol , the stress hormone. And it increases the release of oxytocin, another chemical in the body that reduces stress.
On the other hand, petting a dog increases your levels of serotonin and dopamine . These are hormones that calm and relax the nervous system.
2.- They help against anxiety
A pet dog can protect children at home from childhood anxiety, according to a study by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention .You may be interested in reading: Harness or collar for dogs, which one is better in each case and which one to choose?
A pet can offer you comfort, help ease anxiety, and can build self-confidence. Because pets live in the moment, they don’t care about what happened yesterday or what might happen tomorrow, they can help you be more aware and appreciate the joy of the present.
3.- They help people with depression
Studies have found that pet owners are less likely to suffer from depression than those without pets.
People feel more needed and loved when they have a pet to care for. Taking care of a dog can help you feel needed and wanted. Also, they can help you clear your mind of problems, specifically if you live alone.
4.- They reduce social isolation
Another of the psychological effects of having a dog as a pet is that these furry beings support social connection and alleviate social anxiety because they provide a common topic to talk about.
For example, walking a dog can lead to a conversation with another dog’s owner, reducing social isolation.
5.- They help build healthy habits
Having a dog as a pet requires time and attention, therefore, you should feed it on a regular schedule, take it for a daily walk and take care of a pet also reminds you that you must take care of yourself.
6.- They support recovery from mental illnesses
People with Alzheimer’s can have behavior problems. According to research from the University of California at Davis , Alzheimer’s patients suffer less stress and have fewer outbursts of anxiety if they have a dog as a pet.
Psychological effects of having a dog as a pet on older people
7.- They increase the vitality of the person
Pets can offer companionship to aging people. Dogs encourage laughter, play, and exercise, which can help stimulate your demonic system and boost your energy.
8.- They increase the feeling of satisfaction
As you get older, things or skills that previously occupied your time and gave your life purpose are lost. Taking care of a pet can bring you pleasure and help boost your morale, optimism, and self-esteem.You may be interested in reading: Tricks to clean dog or cat hair from furniture and clothes
On the other hand, having a dog as a pet can increase your sense of satisfaction, knowing that you have provided a home for it.
Psychological effects of having a dog as a pet on children
9.- They help children with autism or learning difficulties
Autistic children depend on non-verbal cues to communicate, just like animals. For an autistic child, learning to connect with a pet first can even help in his interactions with people.
Pets can help children with learning disabilities learn how to regulate stress and calm down.
10.- They help to develop a positive self-image
Having the love and company of a pet can make a child feel important and help develop a positive self-image.
On the other hand, a dog as a pet provides better conditions for building relationships with other people. Additionally, children learn responsibility, compassion, and empathy by owning a dog.