Do Pets Help Reduce Stress & Pain? Why You Need a Furry Friend

Shopify API June 17, 2022 No Comments
Do pets help reduce stress and pain? Explore the many health benefits of pets on our physical, mental, and emotional wellness.

Do pets help reduce stress and pain
June 2022. This article is independently written by Shelby Golding. All opinions given are hers. Shelby has been certified as a personal trainer and nutritional specialist since 2007. In 2008, she found her passion for writing about these topics and hasn't looked back.
Do pets help reduce stress and pain

Stress is a symptom of being human. Whether it’s related to work, family, friends, or the state of the world, everyone is familiar with the chest-tightening, nausea-inducing panic of stress.
In recent years, everyday stressors have been joined by worldwide problems related to the health of our planet and communities. Surveys found that 3 out of 4 Americans name the state of the nation as a significant source of stress.
Everyone deals with stress differently, but one common way to unwind is to add a furry friend to your family. According to the American Pet Products Association, around 70% of Americans owned a pet as of 2021.
Nothing beats coming home to the affection of a beloved pet. But what exactly is the role that pets play in health? For example, do pets help reduce stress and pain? Keep reading to find out why you might want to consider adopting a furry friend.

Health Benefits of Pets

If you live alone, pets provide companionship and affection. In families, they teach children respect for other living things and valuable lessons about life, death, and reproduction.
They get you out of bed and moving on sunny days and keep you occupied inside when the weather is bad. Few pleasures trump snuggling up with a pet on a rainy day. Keep reading to learn about the many health benefits of pets.

1. Pets Improve Your Physical Health

The most straightforward way pets help their owners is they keep them active. If you get a dog, you need to walk them at least once a day. Most people struggle to meet the minimum activity requirements to maintain a healthy weight. Walking a dog or chasing a cat around the house count toward those movement goals.

Studies show that pets reduce blood pressure. So a pet in the home is beneficial for everyone, whether your blood pressure is normal or high.

Pets may also be instrumental in pain management, especially for those who suffer from chronic pain. Stress makes chronic pain worse since the release of cortisol causes tight muscles and increases inflammation. Pets help relieve stress by reducing cortisol levels to increase positive feelings throughout the day and reduce tension across the body.

2. Pets Reduce Stress

Pets Reduce Stress

Reducing stress isn't only good for pain management. Pets' impact on cortisol is one of their most significant benefits. Cortisol, the stress hormone, causes many problems in the body, such as tight muscles, fatigue, trouble sleeping, and digestion issues. The simple act of petting a dog is enough to reduce cortisol levels.
People are calmer around their pets than anybody else. One study showed that when asked to perform a task either alone, with their spouse, with their pet, or with their spouse and pet- most people chose to work with their pet alone. Pets do not judge or criticize; they don't have good moods and bad moods. Instead, they offer support and love unconditionally.
Dog's noses are so sensitive that they can smell a change in hormones. So when your stress levels go up, your dog will know and seek you out to comfort you. PAD, or psychiatric assistance dogs, are service dogs for people with PTSD, schizophrenia, depression, anxiety, or bipolar disorder. These dogs are trained to detect and deter stress in their partners.
At the same time that pets reduce cortisol, they trigger the release of oxytocin. Oxytocin is a feel-good hormone that makes us feel loved and protected. With this potent combination of reduced stress and an increase in love, it's no wonder people fawn over dogs and cats whenever they come across them!

3. Pets Keep Your Mind Healthy

Cortisol is also a key player in anxiety and depression. People with depression and anxiety often have elevated cortisol levels. Their symbiotic relationship means that chronic stress can cause depression or anxiety and vice versa.
In the wake of the massive earthquakes in Japan in 2011, one study looked at the difference between the PTSD symptoms of pet owners and non-pet-owners as they recovered from the disaster. The study suggests that pet owners made more progress toward recovery in the four years after the disaster than those who didn’t own pets.

In addition to helping people recover from natural disasters, animals reduce feelings of loneliness, improve your mood, and help connect you to your community.

Pets are increasingly prevalent in senior living centers for these exact reasons. Seniors who had regular access to an animal were less lonely and more active. Pets also help people to live in the moment, a valuable resource for someone with increasingly poor health as they age.

Is There a Link?

If you consider adding a pet to your family, you may wonder- do pets help reduce stress in kids too? Pets provide essential social support for many children. They help them learn how to treat another living being well and may facilitate interactions with strangers in children with social anxiety.
One study
on Animal-Assisted Therapy suggests that youths in juvenile detention centers were more empathetic after several weeks of walking a dog. In addition, studies show that children with pets tend to have more confidence, self-esteem, and better social skills.
Animals also teach children valuable life lessons about life and death. Since animals’ lives are so much shorter than our own, most children will lose a pet at some point in their youth. Parents can use the death of a beloved animal to shape their child’s reaction to death for the rest of their lives.

Pets, Stress, & Pain

So, do pets help reduce stress and pain? Pets (and dogs in particular) enforce a healthy lifestyle by getting us out of the house and moving. They provide companionship, support, and love that keep us mentally and emotionally healthy. And, given the opportunity, they can teach children valuable life lessons, which will help them cope with difficult situations later on in life.

And remember to use your Kailo pain patch if you’re dealing with pain right now – simply apply it near the site of pain and get back to enjoying your life (and your pets). A recent clinical study showed a significant increase in quality of life when switching to Kailo from oral medication. If you add less pain and improved quality of life to enjoying a new furry friend, you’ll be moving in the right direction for happier, healthier days!
Disclaimer: Kailo should not be used if you have a pacemaker or if you are pregnant. Always consult your doctor or health care professional before using Kailo.


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