4 Ways Pets Help Impact Health and Wellness

(Family Features) Daily life across the country has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and in times of isolation, relationships – human or animal – are as important as ever before.

According to a survey conducted by the Waltham Petcare Science Institute, 85% of people said interaction with a companion animal helped reduce loneliness and 76% agreed human-animal interactions can help address social isolation. As people are connecting virtually with friends and family, they’re also turning to their pets for comfort and companionship.

As part of its BETTER CITIES FOR PETS™ program, Mars Petcare collaborates with cities to create more welcoming environments for people and their pets so more people can enjoy the positive impact pets can have on mental health and wellness at home and on the go. Consider these benefits pets provide and learn more at BetterCitiesForPets.com.

  1. Pets provide stress relief. Stress management is a key factor to living a happy and healthy life, and these days some people are experiencing more daily stressors. Research has shown that owning a pet can decrease blood pressure and may help manage both anxiety and depression. No matter what life might throw at you, a pet can be by your side to help you through it.

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  1. Pets provide comfort. Pets can help soothe people during times of trial, especially as it relates to one’s health. In 2020, Mars Petcare and Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt teamed up to bring a full-time facility dog, Squid, to the hospital to provide comfort and support for patients, their families and hospital staff experiencing the impact of intense medical situations. Squid helps provide insights on how pets like him can improve the lives of patients and their families.

  1. Pets help with healing. Pet ownership can have positive healing benefits at all stages of an owner’s life. Increasing research has been done to show the power of pets in providing health and healing benefits. In fact, one study showed veterans with PTSD symptoms experienced improved levels of physiological stress indicators and lower levels of perceived PTSD symptoms after walking with shelter dogs.

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  1. Pets combat loneliness. While the pandemic has made it difficult to spend quality time with loved ones, pets can help combat the sense of isolation their owners may feel. In a study by HABRI in collaboration with Mars Petcare, 80% of pet owners said their pets make them feel less lonely, and 89% of people who got a pet for loneliness felt their pet has helped them feel less lonely.

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