Since mid-March of this year, many of us have felt like we are in a tailspin and desperately isolated from friends and family that we rely upon due to this global health crisis. The fear and anxiety of the unknown and how the future could turn out can be overwhelming.
One thing that psychologists believe can help is the love and comfort of a pet!
It’s no secret that we love our fur-babies here at Phil Richard Insurance. In fact, prior to the pandemic, our office was often visited by our pups. They brightened the days of our employees and were a welcome addition to the culture of our workplace. Our clients often spent time petting and greeting our four-legged “coworkers.”
Even in the best of times, dogs can elicit joy, a smile, and often a giggle or two from their owners. During a pandemic, they can offer even more than a wet slobbery greeting or a warm snuggly nuzzle. They can be a lifeline to better emotional health and even provide some medical benefits as well.
Medical Benefits of Pets
While sitting on the couch, petting your pup, you probably feel like you are doing nothing out of the ordinary. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), pets have some amazing benefits even when they are doing nothing more than following you around the house, or sitting nearby during your latest Netflix binge.
Studies at the CDC have shown that the bond between people and their pets can increase fitness, lower stress, and bring happiness to their owners. Some of the health benefits of having a pet include:
- Decreased blood pressure
- Decreased cholesterol levels
- Decreased triglyceride levels
- Decreased feelings of loneliness
- Increased opportunities for exercise and outdoor activities
- Increased opportunities for socialization
Mental & Emotional Benefits of Pets
Along with providing physical benefits during walks and outside playtime, pets can also provide mental and emotional benefits as well. Pets can help manage loneliness and depression by giving us companionship. During the long quarantine months of the coronavirus, pets have been priceless companions to those who are unable to connect in person with friends and family.
According to research completed by Megan Mueller, co-director of Tufts Institute for Human-Animal Interaction and a senior fellow at Tisch College, “Animals help older adults cope better with social isolation—that is, being physically separated from others—and with loneliness.”
“Pets provide nonjudgmental emotional support,” she said, and studies show that, “contact with pets help reduce stress and anxiety, particularly when you are experiencing a stressful situation.” The last few months have been exactly that.
Mueller said that people these days should consider spending extra time with their pet as it could provide a much-needed boost.
Don’t have a pet? Check out some of our pets from the team here at Phil Richard Insurance. We hope they make your day.