September is Self-Improvement Month which is the perfect time to talk about how pets can improve your life. Having a dog or a cat around is a positive thing. And science backs you up on that! Over the years, there have been many studies that have pointed to the ways that pets improve our lives. There’s evidence that dogs boost the immune system. Some studies determined that cats can lower your risk of heart disease. And researchers have found that pets can even make you a happier and better person, in addition to improving your health.
Check out some of the most compelling evidence that your pets really do improve your life.
Can improve your mood
Spending time with your pet increases your levels of oxytocin, also called the “love hormone.”
Can improve your social life
You probably have more conversations with strangers when you’re walking with your dog versus when you walk alone.
Can improve your love life
Having your dog with you may make you feel more confident about approaching someone attractive and asking them on a date. And the people you encounter may think that you look more approachable, relaxed, or happy when you have your dog with you. If you own a cat, potential romantic partners may perceive you as more caring, at least according to one survey.
Can improve your immune system
A number of studies have indicated that owning a dog improves your immunity and increases your levels of immunoglobulin A, an antibody that plays an important part in your immune system. Dogs expose us to microbes that we wouldn’t otherwise encounter in our clean indoor environments. They add a lot of diversity to the indoor microbiome.
Can improve your physical fitness
Termed the “Lassie effect” by scientists, walking a dog offers health benefits both for you and the dog. A dog motivates you to exercise, and makes it significantly more likely that you meet the usual recommendation of 150 minutes of exercise per week. Cat owners don’t have to walk their pets. But they can still exercise with their animals. That may at least provide you with entertainment, even if it isn’t associated with health benefits.
Can reduce anxiety
Adopting a pet is often a great move for people with anxiety because dogs and cats can reduce stress and anxiety. Just petting an animal seems to reduce stress in the short term.
Can boost morale in the workplace
Animals make the office a nicer place. Researchers have found that employees who bring their dogs to work experience less stress throughout the workday. Dogs in the workplace also seem to increase trust among coworkers.