By Skylar Doege
If you have ever owned a pet, then you already know how much fun and affection they can bring. But did you know that they also come with some powerful mental and physical health benefits? Dogs in particular can reduce stress, anxiety, depression and can also encourage exercise and playfulness. Caring for an animal can help people feel more secure and active, as well as adding joy and unconditional love to your life.
Life can be very stressful and hard especially for teenagers. There are some moments though, when you’re taking your dog on a walk or your cat is going nuts over a piece of string, when you realize that you’re not thinking about anything that is stressful or anxiety-provoking.
Studies have found that:
• Teens who are pet owners are less likely to suffer from depression than those without pets. They learn to take responsibility and make a routine for themselves that help them enjoying the little things.
• Playing with a dog or cat can elevate levels of serotonin and dopamine, which calm and relax the body.
• People with dogs have lower blood pressure in stressful situations than those without pets. One study even found that when people with borderline hypertension adopted dogs from a shelter, their blood pressure declined significantly within five months.
The companionship of a pet, such as a dog, can offer comfort, help easy anxiety, and build self-confidence for teens who are anxious about going out into the world. Pets can help you become more mindful and appreciate the joy of the present, because they live in the moment. They don’t worry about what happened yesterday or what might happen tomorrow.
Socialization and interaction can be super anxiety-provoking. Being a teen, making friends and holding conversations can be challenging, but don’t worry, your pet is here to help you. Your puppy is adorable? Everyone who sees him will stop to tell you so!
Having pets can help improve your mood, facilitate relaxation, and give you confidence you didn’t think you had before. Pets also teach you responsibility, how to love, and help you experience new things.