Have you ever noticed that you feel physically good when you cuddle or play with your pets? Did you know that interacting with them elevates levels of the hormone oxytocin?
Oxytocin is a powerful ‘cardio-protective’ hormone. It lowers blood pressure, inflammation, and levels of free radicals – all factors involved with cardiovascular disease. It is known as the love hormone because it influences empathy, generosity, and orgasm. Known to be an antidote to depressive feelings Oxytocin strengthens social bonds that in turn support the happy heart.
Walking the dog brings another boost to your immune system from the bacteria brought into the home on the animal’s paws. This gives the immune system a chance to strengthen and become more resilient. It empowers our systems to better protect us from colds and other illnesses.
The additional benefits of the exercise and a stronger immune system have shown researchers that the chances of a second heart attack are 400% lower for those who have a dog than those who don’t.
Stress Busters : Buster, Bailey, Bella, Betty; dogs and cats offer a counter to stress and a protective towards depression. Liberal doses of unconditional love, unstinting companionship, and simple enthusiasm go a long way to easing us over the rough spots in life. They say laughter is the best medicine- who makes you laugh and smile more than a pet?
Having a pet all adds up to huge physical, mental and emotional gains for the heart. For those who might think it’s “nice” to have a pet, it’s a fact that they are a real asset to a healthy life and a happy, healthy heart!
Make a daily appointment with Dr. Dog and Dr. Cat- they have a prescription for your heart you won’t want to miss out on.
RX: Hug your pet today!