Pet with happy owner.

There’s nothing better than coming home to our furry pets at the end of a long day at work. If you’re anything like us, all you want to do till bedtime is snuggle up with your kitty, take your dog for a walk, or play with your ferret. And you often feel better after spending time with your pet. 

The physical and mental health benefits we get with our pets are significant. The team at Volunteer Veterinary Hospital would like to share the top three reasons why pets are good for your health. 

The Top 3 Reasons Pets Are Good For Your Health

1. Pets Can Lower Our Stress Levels 

Research shows that when we spend time with animals, our stress hormone (cortisol) levels go down. Not only that but gazing into your beloved dog’s eyes can increase oxytocin levels in both you and your canine. Oxytocin plays a role in those warm, fuzzy feelings that make you feel content. It also helps reduce the impacts of stress. 

Stress can come with several negative consequences, including high blood pressure, triglycerides, and cholesterol. In turn, these conditions can contribute to heart disease and diabetes.  

So anytime you feel anxious, stressed, and overwhelmed, settle down for a snuggle with a favorite furry friend or two. 

2. Pets Can Improve Our Mental Health

Loneliness can negatively affect our mental health. And while having people in our lives is important, our pets can help fill the loneliness gap, too. They speak to us with their big, kind eyes and their body language. Sometimes, our pets seem to understand our emotions better than any human ever could. 

Pets can also help us get to know other people. You can head to a local dog-friendly bar, dog park, or pet store to meet some pawsome new people and their pets. By helping us socialize and make friends, our pets can boost our social, emotional, and mental health. 

3. Our Pets Get Us Moving

Most dogs need exercise every day. Most humans do, too, but we all know how hard it can be to stick to an exercise routine. That is, unless you have a dog who looks at you with those big goo-goo eyes that are just begging for a walk. 

Even cats can go for short walks on a leash. And you can get moving in your home or yard with your ferrets or rabbits and their favorite toys. Even cleaning out your pets’ enclosures counts as exercise! 

Regular exercise helps lower our chances of developing heart disease and other health conditions. It raises our spirits and keeps us limber as we age. The same is true for our pets if they exercise right along with us. 

If you’re planning to bring home a new pet, Volunteer Veterinary Hospital can cover all of your pet’s health and wellness needs. Call us at (865) 609-0311 to set up an appointment.