How to Reduce Stress with Pets

Pets are the most relaxing “people” you will ever have in your life. Dogs and cats provide unconditional love, they are al­ways delighted to see you, and they don’t care what you look like, whether your hair is combed, or if your makeup is fresh. They love lots of petting, stroking, and hugging, which is a known stress reducer (studies have shown that people who talk to and stroke their pets can lower their blood pressure).

People are often more likely to tell things to their pets than to the most intimate people in their lives, and pets, especially dogs, are always willing to listen. Cats sometimes need to be in another room, but they’ll come around later to listen to what you have to say.

Reduce Stress

No matter how rotten a day you’ve had at work, the sight of a wagging tail and lolling tongue at the front door is bound to cheer you up. And the obligation to take your dog for a walk is also good for you. It’s great exercise, and watching your dog sniff along, checking out who has been around his favorite bushes, is fun. They are so serious and intent as they go about their silly business that you can’t help but smile. And the furry presence be­side you or the tail wagging at the end of the leash ahead of you is extremely calming.

Cats probably invented the whole concept of relaxation; no creature on earth has perfected indolence as well as a well-cared-for cat. Just watching them lie stretched out in a patch of sunshine or curled up in a ball on your comforter makes you feel as though you’d like to do the same. Their soft luxurious fur calls out for gentle strokes, and when they are in the mood for a game, they’re impossible to refuse, and there is no way you can think about any­thing else but the cat’s antics.

If you are allergic to dog and cat dander, there are plenty of other choices. Gerbils, hamsters, and guinea pigs are a tremen­dous amount of fun and can be very affectionate. Rabbits are dar­ling pets, very soft and huggable, and they can be litter box trained just like a cat.

Staring at a tankful of brightly colored tropical fish (and lis­tening to the musical bubbling sounds of the water aerator) is in­credibly relaxing. An increasing number of therapists have aquariums in their waiting rooms.

For people who live alone, a pet is practically essential. For old people or those who are recently widowed or divorced, a pet can mean the difference between misery and the ability to tolerate loneliness. Their presence in your life and the need to take respon­sibility for them can make all the difference.

Several years ago, my sweet orange tabby, Amanda, was in the hospital for five days. I thought she would die, but when the vet called to say I could come and pick her up, I burst into tears of joy. When I showed up at the animal hospital, the receptionist called out on the intercom: “Amanda Fromer, going home,” and I cried again. It was the use of my last name as hers, corroborating what I have known all along: that she is family. When I heard her loud and happy meow as the nurse carried her (purring like crazy in anticipation) to the waiting room, it made my day.

Filed Under: Pets & Animals


About the Author: Fred Goodson has a passion for pets and animals. He has 4 dogs and is planning to have another one. He is also a blogger who writes about pets and animals. Currently, he is living in New Jersey.

RSSComments (0)

Trackback URL

Comments are closed.