Being around animals boosts your levels of serotonin and oxytocin. Serotonin is known for its effect on your overall feeling of "well-being" and oxytocin has an effect on feelings of trust and happiness. The higher levels of oxytocin and serotonin associated with being around animals has been shown to boost your mood. Therapists have even been known to "prescribe" a pet to help treat depression.
Pets help you handle stress better
Studies have shown that pet-owners have lower active and resting blood pressure and that when introduced to stressors, they respond twice as well as as their non-pet having counterpart. People who spend time with pets also show lower levels of cortisol, a stress hormone.
Pets are good for the kids
A child that grows up with a pet experiences fewer infections and develops a stronger immune system. In fact, children with hypertension can decrease their blood pressure by petting an animal.
Pets help protect your heart
Over 20 years of one study, people who never owned a cat were 40% more likely to die of a heart attack than those who had. Another study showed that dog owners had a significantly better survival rate one year after a heart attack.
Pets help build stronger bones
Dog walking is a great physical activity that strengthens your bones and the muscles around them, ultimately helping protect you against osteoporosis.
Volunteer with Austin Pets Alive! to start boosting your health today!