How Pets Improve Our Health and Make Us Feel Good

By on October 23, 2023

Do you know that having a pet can heal you physically and mentally? Our pets are adorable furry friends, great workout buddies, cuddle bugs, and a lifeline when we need our spirits lifted.

Having a dog or cat can lower blood pressure and stress levels. Research has shown that pets can decrease anxiety and boost our mood when depressed. Pets also encourage physical activity and can get you moving, which can help keep the two of you happy, healthy, and strong.

Pets love us unconditionally and bring us happiness daily. In this article, you will learn more about how pets improve our health and make us feel good.

How Pets Improve Our Health

There are numerous ways our pets provide us with the tools we need to be healthy humans. The following are some of the ways our pets can cure anything that ails us:

Pets Lower Blood Pressure

The National Institutes of Health states that interacting with your pet lowers cortisol, which, in turn, lowers blood pressure and combats stress. Excess cortisol is raised in the body when we are stressed or anxious. Playing with your dog or cat or spending quality time with them makes you feel good. Some of the reasons you want your cortisol to be balanced:

  • Keeps your blood sugar healthy
  • Maintains healthy blood pressure
  • Creates balance with your hormones
  • Produces healthier immune responses

Too much cortisol can also interfere with the body’s fight or flight response and make you feel apprehensive or distressed. Elevated cortisol is often associated with high blood pressure. Our pets have a calming effect on us, lowering our blood pressure.

Pets Benefit Your Heart Health

People with pets often experience better heart health. According to the National Institutes of Health, cat owners have a decreased risk of death due to cardiovascular disease. This decrease includes heart attacks and strokes. Other evidence supports that dog owners The AHA Journals indicate a link between dog ownership and an increased chance for survival after a heart attack.

Pets Encourage Physical Activity

Dogs and cats encourage physical activity. Pet parents are often more fit than people without pets because our four-legged family members need exercise. Dogs, especially, keep you active and healthy. They also help you get outside and enjoy the fresh air, a natural mood boost. Some of the ways dogs get you moving:

  • Swimming at the pool or beach
  • Running or jogging with your pup
  • Outdoor games like fetch and frisbee
  • Daily walks (preferably twice a day, 30 minutes each)

Every dog owner knows that playful pups maintain physical health through lots of activity, but owners of feisty felines are no slouches, either. Playing with your cat is fun and can help burn a few calories. Have your cat chase you around the house with a teaser wand toy, and you will see how much energy it requires to keep up with them.

Pets Increase Oxytocin in the Brain

Pets increase the “love hormone,” oxytocin, in the brain, making you feel more closely bonded with your pet. Oxytocin is the same hormone that emotionally bonds human mothers to babies. When your dog is sleeping next to you, or you are cuddling with your cat on the couch, oxytocin stimulates positive social interaction and also decreases high blood pressure.

Pets Help You Socialize

Pets help people be more social with others. Your dog or cat is a real conversation starter. You have to admit having a pet makes your social life more enjoyable. Even if you only interact with your pet, it can reduce loneliness. Your canine or feline will listen to you without judgment and is always easy to talk to. Some of the ways pets help you be more social:

  • Going to the dog park
  • Going to pet-related events
  • Provides a sense of community
  • It enables you to form lasting friendships

According to Harvard Health Publishing, pet owners are 60 percent more apt than people without pets to get to know folks in their neighborhood. This is likely due to walking your dog outside and meeting new people.

Pets Can Prevent Allergies

A study conducted by the National Library of Medicine shows that children aged 7 to 9 who have dogs and cats in the home during the first year of their life had a decreased prevalence of allergic disease, leading to reduced sensitivity to allergens. The dander in pet hair is believed to desensitize children’s immune systems.

Pets Give Us Unconditional Love

Pets will be the first to give us the love and affection we need. How often has your dog been waiting for you at the door when you came home from work to give you kisses or has your cat given you the slow blink to tell you how much they adore you? Our dogs and cats heal us emotionally, improving our health and making us feel good!


Our pets heal us in so many ways. Interacting with your dog or cat can heal you physically by lowering your blood pressure, benefiting your heart health, and encouraging physical activity. Don’t forget all the advantages to your mental health as well. Pets are wonderful members of the family who give us so much to be thankful for.

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