Stress is a pervasive issue, with work-related pressures affecting 4 in 5 adults. Pet insurer petGuard has explored the remarkable therapeutic effects of pet ownership.

“Having a pet brings many mental and physical health benefits for both adults and children,” says James Whitten, Marketing Manager at petGuard. Research supports the idea that people experience a sense of tranquility when they watch their dogs frolic or stroke their cat’s fur. Interacting with animals has been linked to a faster recovery after surgery, as pets boost positivity and mental wellbeing.

Relieving Stress

Stress often triggers the release of adrenaline and cortisol, commonly known as the stress-related hormone. Prolonged exposure to these hormones can have detrimental effects on one’s mental and physical health. However, pets play a pivotal role in combating stress by promoting the release of oxytocin, often referred to as the “cuddle hormone”. Oxytocin helps reverse the effects of cortisol, leaving individuals feeling more relaxed and at ease.

Through their companionship alone, pets offer invaluable support and stress relief to millions of people worldwide. The therapeutic effects of pet ownership are a testament to the special bond shared between humans and their animal companions.

Pets as Therapy

Pet therapy is steadily gaining traction across the UK. It’s particularly beneficial for children with learning disabilities, such as ADHD and autism, who can benefit from engaging with therapy animals in controlled settings. Additionally, these interactions create positive and calm environments for children, improving their concentration, memory retention, and academic performance.

Not only do therapy animals offer comfort, but they also establish an emotional connection that some individuals may struggle to find with humans. The simple act of petting an animal can provide a soothing experience and generate newfound emotional bonds.