What is the "Pet Effect"?
Pets change people -- this is something we all understand on an emotional level. As the years have passed, pets have transitioned from just being "a dog" or "a cat" to "furbabies". With the progression of social media, not only do we have our own accounts but pets do as well, racking up thousands of likes and follows. The link between us and our pets is something that goes beyond love and loyalty. Every year, scientists, with the help of researchers, veterinarians and pet people, discover new effects that pets have on our own physiology. Studies have shown that owning and spending time with pets not only brings joy to our lives, but it can also help lower the chances of heart disease, high blood pressure and can reduce stress levels, prevent allergies in children and strengthen the immune system, decrease anxiety and depression as well as increase our ability to interact with others on a social level. Pets have also been shown to benefit children with Autism and provide relief for victims of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
From doctors recommending pets to their patients to policy makers working to loosen restrictions on where pets can be with their people, we are all striving to improve the overall health and well-being of our communities.