The Case For Pets
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Time with animals lowers cortisol level.
There’s a scientific reason pet owners are some of the chillest people you know.
Your HPA axis
When you experience depression, anxiety, or social isolation, the hormones in your hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis increase. Cortisol, often referred to as the “stress hormone” that gets released during fight-or-flight scenarios, is one of the main hormones involved here.
Researchers studied the effects of owning a pet and discovered it reduces the activity of the HPA axis. In other words, less cortisol = less stress.
Studies have also shown oxytocin release increases when we spend time with pets. Oxytocin is a key hormone involved in emotional attachment, positive physical contact, and social cognitive processes. Higher oxytocin levels have been associated with lowering heart rate, depression, and perception of pain.
All great things!
If you can't own a pet for whatever reason, try these tips:
1. Socialise with friends and family who do. Who wouldn’t love some help walking their dog?
2. Volunteer with an animal shelter. They often need people to volunteer to walk the dogs or just play with the animals.
3. Borrow My Doggy. You love dogs. Dogs need walking. This service allows you to be a temporary dog owner without the commitment.
Bonus pet facts
Giant Flemish bunny instagram accounts are a thing.
FOR THE NERDY: Here, kitty [Source: NCBI - Emerging Cardiovascular Risk Research: Impact of Pets on Cardiovascular Risk Prevention]