Most of us are pretty clear about the immediate joys of being a dog owner. After all, what’s not to love about them being all cute and cuddly or rough and rumbly! But during this pandemic, a lot of us might be unaware of the physical and mental health benefits that come along with the joys of cuddling our furry friends.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC), pets provide us with more than just enjoyment and unconditional love. Along with all the fun and games, pets also offer up a variety of health benefits, including:
- Lowered cholesterol levels
- Decreased blood pressure
- Decreased levels of triglycerides (a type of body fat)
- Reduced feelings of loneliness
- Increased opportunities for exercise and outdoor activities
- Improved opportunities for social connection
The pandemic took its toll on many individuals and families worldwide—job loss, health concerns, and social isolation, to name a few. With all of these going on at the same time, pet owners are turning to their animal friends for more than basic companionship and lowered blood pressure. Many people find that their pets are helping them reduce anxiety and feelings of loneliness, giving them hope during the bleakest times of their lives.
Here are the five ways your paw-mazing pets are helping you get through the loss and challenges caused by the pandemic (without you realizing it):
#2. Dogs are funny. Pets are effortlessly funny, constantly showcasing endless personality quirks. This is quite evident with the images and videos we all share on social media— from invading our office chairs and turning keyboards into slobbery chin rests to pups removing themselves from their last “crime scene,” while casually looking on with you as if they were never there. Our dogs have their own way of giving us a good laugh, and laughter is a great way to release happy hormones and help us remain paw-sitive in life!#3. Dogs make exercising easier. Taking your dog out for a walk or a quick jog is a good way to get your body moving, too! The pandemic forced many companies to transition to a work from home setup, which led to weight gain in much of the population across the globe due to decreased physical activity and increased stress levels. With you and your pet exercising together, both of you can still maintain a healthy lifestyle and achieve your ultimate body goals.
#4. Dogs love snuggling! One of the harsh realities we had to accept when the pandemic broke out was that we can no longer see—and hug—the people we cherish as often as we want to. While technology helps us remain connected with our loved ones, it can’t replace the power of physical touch. The good news is our pets are safe for warm hugs, belly rubs and cuddles! Physical touch helps relieve feelings of loneliness and triggers the release of feel-good hormones.
#5. Dogs are #instagrammable. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, people around the globe have increased the time they spend on social media in order to remain connected with friends and loved ones. When social media seems to be filled with sobering news about the pandemic, you can help bring paw-sitivity to other people’s day. Who doesn’t love to see cute pictures of our four-legged friends? There’s nothing like a funny pet photo or video to bring a smile to people’s faces.
The pandemic sure has changed our daily routines, but let’s not forget those that remain as constants in our lives: our family, friends, and of course our—canine companions, who do nothing more than love us each and every day. Let’s show them how thankful we are to have them in our lives, especially during these trying times!