June 8th is National Best Friends Day, and as we all know our pets are near and dear to us. Subsequently, we suggest that you honor the special bond you share with them on this day!

Pets Are an Important Part of Our Lives

Pet owners already are aware that they would not be living the same life if it wasn’t for their furry (or scaly or feathery) pals, but did you know that pets truly bring many benefits to us that enrich our lives? Life is hectic and we all get stressed, the good news is that it has actually been scientifically proven that petting an animal can considerably reduce your stress levels. In fact, simply petting your pet for fifteen minutes will release oxytocin, prolactin, and/or serotonin, which in daily life are known as the “feel good” hormones. As a result of these hormones being released, cortisol, which is the stress hormone in our body, is lowered. Your body will become more relaxed, and your blood pressure can even be lowered by ten percent! Another health benefit of pets, specifically dogs, is that they require walks which means that willingly or not, you will get your workout in for the day as well. Animals also have other important roles within our society such as service animals helping those with medical conditions, police dogs, fire dogs, search and rescue dogs, and so many others. Overall, it is undeniable that pets have unaccounted-for importance in our lives that many take for granted.

The Emotional Influence of Our Pets

Pets are our ever-present, unconditionally loving companion. In return for the food, shelter, water, and exercise that we provide for them (granted it is a warm and safe environment), our pals offer their loyalty, love, and friendship. In addition to this, they can be our support system. We all know that there are animals that are specifically bred and trained to be companion animals and to help people with special needs, but honestly, every pet brings support to his/her owner. The first thing that they bring help with is loneliness as they offer us their companionship and the ability to talk to them, knowing that our secrets are definitely safe with them. You also get to join the community of other pet owners and connect with them while you are out and about with your pet, or you can be even more connected by joining social media groups or forums. They can also help with depression, grief, and anxiety since they bring a sense of calmness, responsibility, and purpose. In addition to this, the time you spend with your animal can serve as an escape from all of your life's problems as you focus on the present and enjoy the moment. Altogether, pets influence us greatly in the emotional sphere of our lives. 

Health Benefits of Pet Ownership

Did you know that other than the previously discussed benefits of keeping you fit, lowering your stress levels, and helping with mental illnesses, owning a pet can offer a wide array of other health benefits? One of these is the fact that they can improve our immune systems. Animals inevitably tend to spend a lot of time outdoors and bring dirt and germs in with them back into the house, consequently, this can build our immunity to colds and other mild illnesses. There have been studies to back this up since babies that lived in households with animals experienced less infections and seemed to be more healthy overall. Similarly, another benefit that seems to come with owning pets is that they may help fight against children developing certain allergies. That being said, if you are allergic to cats, dogs, or other forms of animals you shouldn't own them as pets because that will not cure your allergies or make you immune, but contrarily may aggravate them. Yet another benefit that owning a pet may bring, is the early detection of cancer. Animals have incredible senses and many owners went in to the doctor to get checked out after their pet would not stop sending worrisome signals such as pawing, sniffing, and licking repetitively at the same part of the owner’s body. Though this list is not exhaustive, it is clear that there are many health benefits that pets can bring to us. 

It is said that a best friend is someone who loves you when you forget to love yourself, and your pet definitely passes that criterion. Make sure to show your love and appreciation for your pal today and never take them for granted. Happy National Best Friends Day!