You have no doubt heard the old saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”? Now, researchers studying the health benefit of owning a dog, cat, bird or pocket pet say that “having pets can help keep the doctor away”. One reason for the evidence-supported association between better health and pets involves the brain-body connection, or the ability of emotions to influence your health.
For example, thousands of studies indicate people suffering stress and anxiety are prone to developing high blood pressure, heart disease, high cholesterol and many other chronic diseases due to elevated levels of the the stress hormone cortisol. Caring for a pet actually reduces cortisol levels by influencing brain chemicals implicated in mood, relaxation, pain reduction and feelings of well-being.
Pets Improve Mood by Giving Unconditional Love
No matter how bad your day is or how depressed and lonely you feel, pets are always there for you. They always love you without expecting anything from you. They make pet owners smile and laugh just by being their cute, cuddly selves. They are happy to see you when you get home and won’t leave your side when you are ill or sad. Knowing their pet unconditionally loves them , eases loneliness, reduces anxiety and increases release of serotonin in the brain, a neurotransmitter responsible for feeling happy and content. In addition, people with anxiety disorders often have a service dog for anxiety that helps them deal with daily stress triggers.
Pets Get Owners Outside and Active
A health benefit of owning a dog is the fact that dogs need to be walked. One of the best physical activities anyone can do to improve their physical and mental health is walking. And what’s more enjoyable than taking a long, pleasant walk with your best friend in the world? Walking your dog in the woods or park provides the added health benefit of being surrounded by nature. Spending time in nature improves mental and emotional health, reduces stress and raises levels of vitamin D, a nutrient important for preventing depression and improving immune system functioning.
Pets as an Early Warning System for Diabetics
Dogs can be trained to detect subtle changes in the way diabetics smell when their blood sugar drops suddenly. These special dogs will nudge, sniff or otherwise get the attention of their owners who may need to eat something to avoid a diabetic emergency.
Call Blue Star Animal Hospital at (904) 720-4275 in St. Johns if you are interested in adopting a pet or making an appointment for a pet you already have.
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Dr. Venkat Gutta
Bluestar Pet Hospital & Grooming
At Blue Star Pet Hospital and Grooming, Dr. Venkat Gutta provides high-quality and modern veterinary services to all your furry friends! At Bluestar, Dr. Gutta and his team are committed to providing your pets with both a full-service Veterinary Hospital and a modern grooming salon (St. Johns location only) for dogs and cats. Our primary commitment is to provide your companion animals with the highest quality medical care. Dr. Gutta strongly believes in treating your four-legged companions as family members and providing them with excellent yet affordable veterinary care. At Bluestar, we also think that it is important to educate you, as a pet owner, and ensure that the unique needs of you and your pet are met at all times. Through Bluestar, Dr. Gutta and his team serve clients in Durbin Crossing, Jacksonville, St Augustine, St Johns, CR 210, and other areas. Whether it is pet vaccinations, surgery, techniques, advanced diagnostic testing, or even flea and tick control products, we give you access to the best and most cutting-edge treatments and technologies. At Bluestar, we believe that your pet is the STAR!