It’s no secret that we are huge animal lovers here at Lorna Jane. Running into our Chief Barking Officer, Roger Clarkson never fails to bring a smile to our faces.
We regularly exchange great places to go with our pooches, funny pictures of our cats and stories of our crazy pets and what shenanigans they have been up to.
While it is a big commitment in time, energy and money, if you are in a position to adopt a new BFF you will be paid back with all of the perks of pet ownership, including big wet kisses and an endless photo stream of adorable pictures.
So, what are some of the health and wellness benefits? We talked to Emergency Veterinarian Dr Alex Hynes to learn more…
Better Health for You and Your Pet
Having a pet in your house isn’t just having someone there when you get home. A pet becomes another member of your family; someone who will love you unconditionally, no matter what. Besides this though, did you know that having a pet can do the most amazing things for your health? There are more and more studies showing the positive impact having a pet has on your health and wellbeing.
So, find a little animal to share your home with you, and do some of the following to enjoy better health for you and your pet!
Spend Quality Time with Your Furry friend!
Okay, so having a pet isn’t going to make you feel healthy immediately. It’s all about the quality time you spend with each other. The connection you develop will slowly improve your health in many ways. Not only the happiness we get from being needed and having purpose, looking after your pet helps provide a positive routine. From feeding to grooming or walking, these are all activities that build a bond with your pet and create habits which give you all of the benefits of being responsible for someone you love.
Just like little kids, animals need love and attention, so let your pet know that you love and care for them and you will get double that back every day of your life.
Get Rid of Stress! Cuddle Your Pet to Release those Happy Hormones!
We all know that stress is not good for us but yelling at people, slamming doors, or lying under the duvet in a darkened room won’t make it go away. When you’re feeling strung out, relax on your couch and cuddle your pet. Just stroking them will help to get rid of that feeling that you’re about to explode. Not only does snuggling (or being with – shout out to the fishes!) your pet decrease your blood pressure, but the decrease in stress hormones can reduce cholesterol levels too.
Those happy hormones will start kicking in and your stress will reduce in no time flat. When you’re happy, your pet will be happy too, so it’s a win-win situation all round.
Talk to your Pal When You’ve Had a Bad Day!
Having a pet to come home to is the best therapy ever, especially if your pet happens to be a dog. Not only do you get a lovely greeting but you have someone else to focus on and play with/cuddle/walk or care for a while.
Pets have this amazing ability to sit and listen intently to your every word without any judgment whatsoever (yes, even cats! Well, some cats wink ).
Feel like having a rant? Then have a good heart-to-heart with your fluffy/feathery/scaly friend! When you’re done getting it all off your chest, they will be more than happy to snuggle up to you, which will only make you feel that much better.
Improve your Physical Health!
There is no denying that when you have a pet you have to get out more often come rain, shine or snow. Dogs need to go for regular walks, so having one means that you have to go outside so they can relieve themselves or to get some exercise.
You will become fitter and healthier when you take your dog for their daily walk or run. All that extra walking, fresh air and playing with your dog outdoors can only mean one thing – a healthier, happier you!
Some people even take their cats, pigs, birds and guinea pigs for outings. Whatever works for the health and happiness of you and your pet.
Reduced risk of Depression.
Having a pet means that you have a great support system, especially when you’re feeling down. Even though your pet can’t answer you, you can talk about everything that’s worrying you or making you feel sad. This means that you can open up and let it all out, knowing that your feelings and secrets won’t be shared. Often, just saying things out loud will help you feel better.
Negative feelings start to melt away when you look at that goofy smile on your dog’s face, or watch your cat perform the most stupid, amazing acts of agility when he tries to catch the dust floating in that shaft of light. I mean really, is it even possible to feel down when you have this type of entertainment around you every day, from a creature that loves you with their entire heart and soul?
You always have a friend.
Sometimes the feeling of loneliness can be challenging, but your pet will help you to realise that you’re not alone. You always have someone there to talk to, care for and have fun with.
If you’re feeling isolated grab the lead and head for the park with your furry pal. You start chatting with other pet owners who are doing exactly the same as you – taking their dogs for their daily walks.
Pet owners are usually just as sociable as their pets and will chat to you even if they don’t know you at all. Being around like-minded, friendly people is guaranteed to make you feel more positive and connected.
Your Pet will help bring the fun!
If you get the feeling that your life is all work and no play, having a pet at home will change all of that completely.
As you walk in the door you will be greeted by this happy creature that is obviously thrilled to have you back again! They want to play or cuddle and will pester you until you give in and pay attention to them. You will soon give in and spend the next hour or so playing happy, silly games with your pet.
The result? Daily grind forgotten and you feeling like a happy human being again!
What is your favourite thing about having a ‘paws’onal trainer?
Dr Alex Hynes is an emergency veterinarian with an extraordinary passion for animals, life and her veterinary work. Alex is a Director of the Animal Emergency Service and one of the Final 5 for Bondi Vet.
Alex has dedicated her life to educating pet owners and advancing the area of emergency and critical care in veterinary medicine, so that sick and injured animals can have the care that they deserve at any time of the day or night.
We recommend visiting your vet to learn more about adopting a pet, pet ownership and ensuring that you find the right match for you and your lifestyle.