Pets are good for your well-being. For example, multiple studies have shown that pets reduce stress and depression.
When we are stressed, our bodies produce more harmful hormones, such as cortisol and norepinephrine. These lower our immunity, making us more susceptible to illness and disease. By reducing stress and depression, pets thus bolster our immune systems, keeping us healthier.
Stress also raises our blood pressure. Again, studies show that pets lower blood pressure readings. In one study, people in stressful situations who also had pets had better blood pressure readings than people without pets.
Interactions with our pets also increase “good” hormones like serotonin and dopamine that have calming effects and are associated with happiness.
Remember the adage “an apple a day keeps the doctor a way”? While no one would argue the benefits of fiber, the doctor should add pets to the prescription.