Wednesday, 13 May 2020

COVID-19 and your pet: How your pet keeps you healthy during a pandemic

COVID-19 and your pet: How your pet keeps you healthy during a pandemic



COVID-19 and your pet How your pet keeps you healthy during a pandemic Paws For Reaction


The COVID-19 crisis has put mental health under the microscope and many are trying to find ways to preserve their mental health during this time of self-isolation and social distancing. Countless studies have been conducted to determine a pet’s influence on a person’s mental health. Research has shown that pets can do all sorts of things to improve their owner’s physical and mental health. Some pets assist people with disabilities while others soothe people suffering from depression. 




Self-isolation and working from home mean a lot of time to spend with our pets. Owning a pet can benefit the entire family and keep them happy and healthy during this difficult time- here’s how!





They help ease depression


Past animal and human studies have documented that people with pets in their homes tend to live happier, healthier lives. Science Daily published a study by John Hopkins Medicine that concludes that early-life exposure to dogs may lessen the risk of people developing schizophrenia.
Dogs are also used by The Canadian Service Dog Foundation as Emotional Support Animals. They help owners with mental illness, depression, and other mood-altering illnesses.
COVID-19 and your pet How your pet keeps you healthy during a pandemic Paws For Reaction


They teach us about responsibility


To own a pet means that its basic survival needs must be met. The pet must be cleaned, fed, and exercised. A pet is a long-term commitment and requires a lot of responsibility. According to associate editor of Psych Central Therese J. Borchard, being responsible for a pet can be a mood enhancer. It also promotes high self-esteem and confidence.

"We reinforce to ourselves that we are capable of caring for another creature as well as ourselves," the report states. "That’s why chores are so important in teaching adolescent’s self-mastery and independence."


Taking care of a pet also adds structure to the owner's day and completing tasks provides a sense of accomplishment. The pet parent will feel proud that they take good care of their pet and assert the same practices in other areas of life. Your pet could lead you to great success!



COVID-19 and your pet How your pet keeps you healthy during a pandemic Paws For Reaction


They look after those in need


Service dogs are available to their owners for a wide array of reasons- some lead the blind while others can detect their owner's seizure before it even happens. They also help people who suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, vertigo, and can aid a person when experiencing a panic attack.


The most important part of a service dog's job is to help its pet parent to lead as normal a life as possible. Service dogs assist individuals in everyday life events that may be more challenging with an illness or disability.



COVID-19 and your pet How your pet keeps you healthy during a pandemic Paws For Reaction



They help us stay active


Pet parents- specifically dog owners- are more active because they need to interact with their pet to burn off its energy. Most dogs need at least one walk a day but depending on the breed a dog could need upwards of an hour a day of exercise. Dog owners who take their dogs for daily walks usually get the 75 to 150 minutes of physical activity a week that the American Heart Association recommends.
Regular dog walking leads to a healthier lifestyle. Research shows that even non-dog owners who interact with other people’s dogs are getting a boost in physical activity. Walking is a fat-burning, healthy way to interact with the family pet.



COVID-19 and your pet How your pet keeps you healthy during a pandemic Paws For Reaction


They help us live longer


Pets can also give the gift of a longer life. The American Heart Association released a report that owning a dog could reduce the risk of heart disease.



"Dog ownership, in particular, may help reduce cardiovascular risk. People with dogs may engage in more physical activity because they walk them," the report states. “In a study of more than 5,200 adults, dog owners engaged in more walking and physical activity than non-dog owners, and were 54 percent more likely to get the recommended level of physical activity."



Owning a pet has also been linked to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels and can even lower the risk of obesity. Not to mention the stress relief that pets provide their owners with- all of these things are great for heart health.


The human-animal bond may also be a reason why people with pets in their homes live longer on average. A little extra love never killed anyone! During this difficult time take advantage of the benefits that come with being a pet parent.



COVID-19 and your pet How your pet keeps you healthy during a pandemic Paws For Reaction



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