With more than 24 million Aussies owning pets, being the highest ownership in the world, the power of the paw exceeds just having a furry friend for companionship!
According to the Australian Companion Animal Council, alongside allowing us to feel empathetic and connected, people with pets generally have lower cholesterol, low blood pressure, handle stress better and have less risk factors associated with heart disease!
In addition to loving you unconditionally and obviously being the best friend ever, the pawsitive impact of a pet includes their ability to improve your mental health, reminding you that you are never alone. Especially during periods of self-isolation such as what our world is currently experiencing. Therapy dogs have been utilised all over the globe to treat those with depression and anxiety. By providing these individuals a calm environment as well as the affection of a pet, having a furry friend around for one, increases oxytocin levels (the ‘love hormone’) as well as reduces symptoms of depression and anxiety significantly!
Having a pet is also a well known way to socialise and increase your connections with other humans. With multiple cafes being pet-friendly and almost all parks encouraging all animals to be free, owning a pet is one of the many ways you can put yourself out there and meet new people and ignite new friendships! Puppy school or puppy play dates, here we come!
And hello fitness! Due to many animals requiring regular exercise, the necessity for you to go outdoors and get physical will benefit you mentally through the practice of mindfulness and relaxation. Making your pet happy and healthy can also encourage yourself and the people around you to do the same.
So what if I don’t have a pet? There are hundreds of animals out there needing a loving home. Whether it’s a fish, dog, cat or guinea pig, don’t let self-isolation stop you from improving your mental and physical health with a furry friend!
We would love to see the furry friends getting you through this isolation. Take a pic of you and your pet in Iso and tag @YourDUSA on FB and Instagram!