Does your dog or cat happily greet you when you return home after a long day at work? All pet owners know that hugging a furry critter is a great way to relax and even cheer up a dull mood. It's not new information, but the science behind it sure is.
Researchers have studied the physiological effects that occur inside your body while cuddling with your pet. The results prove that contact with an animal improves the overall wellness of humans.
Let's take a look at some of the findings:
No wonder people gravitate toward dogs and cats! Make sure you give your pet lots of hugs, head scratches, and belly rubs to say thanks for everything they give to you on a daily basis.
- Scratching your pet's belly (or any other form of contact) reduces your blood pressure, helping your body relax.
- Hugging your furry friend can help people of all ages feel less pain, which is why trained therapy dogs have such a high success rate while visiting hospital patients.
- Cuddling with your best bud lowers your body's cortisol levels, which helps reduce stress.
- Prolonged physical affection (15 or more minutes) with Fido increases your body's oxytocin, a neurotransmitter that helps the body cope with the harmful effects of stress.
- Playing with your pet releases endorphins in your brain, creating feelings of happiness and satisfaction.
- Caring for an animal can even improve your immune function, enhancing your overall wellness.
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