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The Power of Pets: How Pets Influence Mental & Physical Health

There is no doubt in the mind of any pet owner that pets are magical and just being with them can turn around a bad day. To look into the face of your pet and feel the unconditional love they have for you is one of the greatest feelings every pet parent loves. But, just how do they create these magical moments with us, and why does it feel so good? 

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The Mindset Around Pets

Animals as a part of therapy have been well documented, but what happens to our minds when we are with them? What is this powerful shift our pets do for us?  

The mental benefits of playing and interacting with pets are truly extraordinary. Scientists have shown that playing with pets increases our serotonin, dopamine, and oxytocin. Serotonin, the mood hormone, increases feelings of well-being and happiness, helping to stabilize your moods. Dopamine, the reward hormone, allows you to feel pleasure, satisfaction, and motivation.

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Boosting serotonin and dopamine levels naturally through interaction with pets helps to lower depression and feelings of self-doubt. Oxytocin, often referred to as the love hormone, increases your feelings of relaxation, trust, and empathy—all while reducing stress and anxiety. The best part of all these hormones? Once your body starts regularly producing them, they become more accessible and easier to produce, and you will find your mood becoming increasingly happier and stress-free! 

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Physically We Can Change

Along with the mental benefits we don’t always see right away, there are physical health benefits which we can see almost on the same day. Our pets need to have physical activity, which in turn gets us moving. Walking your pet will give you many health benefits. Lowering your blood pressure, lowering your cholesterol and triglyceride levels.  

Become more active and see yourself being fitter, possibly lose weight, and ease joint pain. Pets bring people together, and while humans may shy away from groups, our pets, in particular dogs, just can’t wait to get out and hang with their friends. A trip to the dog park is cause for a joyous celebration with old and new friends! 

A pet as a companion is about as perfect as it can be. Pets fulfill a basic human need to be touched; they reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation while boosting moods and increasing feelings of social support.

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Are Pets Magic?

Some will say they have an absolute psychic connection with their pet. The animal-human bond is strong and often unbreakable. As to magic? There is no doubt to us that when you have the love and trust of your pet, there is magic in this bond!

The next time you take some quality time-out with your pet, remember all the wonderful ways they make your life enriched. Keep your pet happy and healthy with good nutrition and regular doses of play time. A happy pet means a happier you, after all! 

Stop by Mother Nature Garden Centre to talk to our pet-experts for all your fur-baby needs.