Do you suffer from anxiety? Anxiety can be as simple as that flutter in your chest or that pit in your stomach or you just don’t feel“right”. Anxiety can be defined as the feeling of fear, dread, or uneasiness (National Institute of Mental Health). We are always looking for ways to manage and improve our mental health. Most of us have a family pet at home. Many of us have witnessed the positive benefit that pets add to our lives.

There are many benefits of having that human-animal bond such as: reduced stress, anxiety, and depression. Animals ease loneliness by providing us with an opportunity to exercise and play with them as well as boost our cardiovascular health. When looking at overall health benefits, there are a list of reasons pets are good to have in the home. Studies have shown that pet owners are known to have lower blood pressure even when tested in stressful situations. Playing with pets increases serotonin and dopamine levels which calm and relax you. When looking at heart health pets owners have lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels which reduces risk of heart attacks. As you can see there are many reasons our health shows improvement with pets by our side. 

Many of us crave companionship and often times find that in our furry four legged friends. They not only provide companionship and health benefits, but boost overall behavior and morale of individuals. Speaking from personal experience, when I brought my french bulldog Paisley (as shown above) into Fusion it had an overwhelmingly positive effect on the general population of all ages as well as the staff. There was a noticeable difference in patients’ energy and motivation.

Many patients mentioned feeling safe and excited to be in such a positive and warm environment with Paisley. Just something as simple as playing with Paisley or petting her would change the patient’s experience from sometimes a fearful or anxious experience to a more calm and relaxed environment. Next time you feel lonely, afraid, or even overwhelmed by life, hold on tight to your furry friend and appreciate all that they do for you. Make sure to say hi to your furry friends for us!

Written By: Karli Lisk LPTA

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