Why is it worth having a pet? The influence of pets on our mental health. Dog and cat help with shattered nerves and depression

Since the dawn of time, pets have accompanied humans. Wolves tamed by us, that is, dogs and domesticated wild cats, are our best four-legged friends today. Contact with them brings not only a lot of joy, but also a number of benefits for our health. Just a few minutes of stroking the soft hair can reduce the stress level for both the dog and the owner. See how you can benefit even more from contact with your pet.

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The proximity of a pet is invaluable to our psyche, although we usually don’t realize it on a daily basis. Contact with your pet can affect: reducing the level of stress and aggressionat the same time increasing feelings of empathy and trust in relation to other people.

According to recent estimates, in Poland we have more than 7.8 million dogswhich puts us fifth in Europe in terms of having four-legged friends. A large part of them are hybrids, ie mongrel dogs, and the most popular purebred dogs in Poland are such breeds as:

  • German shepherd,
  • yorkshire terrier,
  • chihuahua,
  • labrador and golden retriever,
  • french and english bulldog.

Regardless of their origin, size, age and appearance, dogs bring us great joy. They are faithful companions, companions on walks, they are always happy to cuddle and they can comfort each other when needed. These are not only our subjective feelings, but also scientifically proven facts.

Accessories for your pet!

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British Cat, Siberian Cat or Leprechaun? Which is better for our mental health? The answer is simple: everyone. A spinning ball curled up on your lap or chasing a toy mouse, regardless of its origin, brings the same joy to its owner.

In terms of the number of cats that live under our roofs, Poland also has something to be proud of – our houses are inhabited by as many as 6.3 million kittens. Although it is often said that cats have a difficult nature, all cat lovers will agree that in their opinion the cat is man’s best friend.

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The influence of animals on our well-being is confirmed by numerous scientific studies. A recent study, conducted in 2020 by a team of Dr. Janette Young, a health science lecturer at the University of South Australia, demonstrated the benefits of having pets during a pandemic.

Study participants found that touching their pets made them feel like:

  • comfort,
  • relaxation,
  • intimacy.

Touch is an under-researched sense, according to the study’s author, but the existing evidence suggests it’s critical for growth, development and healthas well as lowering the levels of the stress hormone (cortisol) in the body. It is also believed that touch may be of particular importance to the elderly as their other senses deteriorate.

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Scientists have long recognized the effects of contact with pets on our mental health. Numerous studies confirm the health benefits of having four-legged pets. Among them are listed:

  1. Increased sense of comfort – American research showed that women who slept in the same bed with dogs felt safer and more comfortable.
  2. Reducing the Symptoms of Depression – Other American studies have confirmed that animal therapy has an effect on less depressive symptoms.
  3. Stress reduction – Scientists have found that contact with a dog lowers the level of the stress hormone, or cortisol, and thus reduces the feeling of anxiety.
  4. Better memory – the latest data showed an association between long-term pet ownership and subsequent memory loss and deterioration of other cognitive functions in people over 50.
  5. Lower blood pressure and heart rate – numerous scientific observations have shown the effect of contact with a pet on lowering blood levels and heart rate, thus improving the work of the heart.

Unfortunately, people who are allergic to cats have to give up the company of house cats and some purebred pets. It is twice as common as a dog allergy and affects 10 percent western society

Something your cat will definitely love!

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An allergy to cats is not only an allergy to their hair, but especially to a substance that is found in the cat’s saliva and other secretions, for example in the urine. However, allergy sufferers don’t have to give up owning a cat! They may decide to buy or adopt a pet from one of the breeds considered the least allergenic:

  • Siberian cat
  • siamese cat,
  • balinese cat,
  • javanese cat,
  • abyssinian cat,
  • oriental shorthair cat,
  • sphynx cat,
  • Devon Rex the cat,
  • Cornish Rex cat.

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The report “Facts & Figures 2020 Eurpoean Overview” shows how many animals we breed in Polish homes. As many as 42 percent of households have a dog, and 33 percent. lives with the cat. Other most popular pets in our country are:

  • small domestic mammals for example rabbits or hamsters – we have more than 1 million,
  • aquariums – we have 400 thousand tanks,
  • reptiles for example, turtles and lizards – we breed 215 thousand. individuals.

Do you have a dog at home? It may come in handy!

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Small animals are an alternative for people who don’t have room for a dog or a cat in the house. Moreover are a great solution for allergy sufferers† Also, people who spend a lot of time outdoors may be tempted to buy one of the less demanding animals.

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Does handling a bird, fish or rabbit have the same health benefits as caring for a dog or cat? Of course! They provide us with companionship, stimulate our senses, help form relationships with people with similar interests and will also force extra activity, which is especially important for the elderly.

Also see:

Do you sleep with your cat? Check if it’s safe! Get to know the pla…

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