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In recent years, a great deal of research has been carried out into the effects that owning a pet can have on reducing stress levels and assisting recovery from illness.
For many people, owning a pet gives them a great deal of enjoyment and satisfaction. There seems little doubt that coming home from a stressful day at work and spending time with your pet, can be a great way to unwind and reduce your stress levels.
Whether it’s watching your cat play with a ball of wool or taking your dog out for a walk, owning a pet can be a great way to reduce stress. Also looking after a pet can help shift the pet owner’s focus away from their own problems to the needs of their pet, which will naturally help reduce their stress levels.
A number of studies have also shown that even spending some time with a pet can have a very positive and beneficial effect on people. So much so, that in some countries, pets are regularly taken around hospital wards to spend time with patients, as this has been shown to speed up the time it takes to recover from surgery. Some people may find it difficult to believe, but clinical studies have actually shown that by simply spending some time with a pet cat or dog, patients can help to reduce their blood pressure.
Dogs in particular can be great stress reducers. As simple as it may seem, activities such as getting your dog to play fetch, or taking it for a walk in the park can really help to reduce your stress. Dogs can also be great companions when involved in other stress reducing activities such as fishing or hiking.
Even owning pets such as aquarium fish can help with relieving stress. The very act of taking proper care of tropical fish requires a lot of time an effort in ensuring they have the correct living environment and food etc. This focus can help to take your mind of the day to day problems that can cause stress and be a great way of relaxing.
Another aspect of pet ownership that is often overlooked is the great deal of pleasure and fun you can have by observing your pets behaviour, which can often be very humorous. Laughter is an excellent way to eliminate stress.
There is also an undeniable bond that can form between pets and their owners. Pet owners will often say that their pet gives them unconditional love and expects nothing in return. This can often be in sharp contrast to the stresses and strains of everyday human relationships, and can be another reason why pet ownership can be a great stress reliever.