One business that got a tremendous unpredicted boost during the COVID-19 pandemic was the pet adoption business. Sales for dogs and cats have soared these past several months. People are trying to fill emotional voids with pet companionship.
With socialization opportunities limited these days, many people are looking for something to bring joy to their lives. Pets come with some powerful health and mood-boosting benefits for young and old alike.
Science Proves It
Studies have demonstrated that caring for an animal can help lower stress levels, relieve depression and anxiety, and even improve your heart health. The human-animal bond can trigger a decrease in cortisol, a stress hormone. Playing with your pet can elevate levels of serotonin (“happy hormone”) and dopamine (neurotransmitter of emotional responses), which calm and relax pet owners.
A relationship with a pet can also make both humans and animals mutually feel good. Petting an animal, for instance, can release what is referred to as the “love hormone” oxytocin. This hormone and neurotransmitter exist in all mammals. It is typically linked to warm and fuzzy relationship-building feelings and floods a mother with love when she sees her baby.
Pet owners are shown to have lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels, which are indicators of heart disease, compared to people without pets. Heart attack patients with pets also survive longer than those without.