Image: Flickr Creative Commons/ahstillwell
We all need a good furry animal at one point or another- the benefits of having a pet help humans on a physiological and emotional level. Caring for a small loved one in itself indicates compassion for someone other than ourselves, sharing feelings of love gives us a sense of gratitude and satisfaction towards others. Additionally, many studies have shown that daily cues, such as petting, with your animal incites a biofeedback mechanism which ultimately help decrease blood pressure, heart rate, and release hormones such as oxytocin that can help you smile. Overall, pet therapy slightly suppresses the sympathetic nervous symptoms, alleviating symptoms of anxiety and tension. Spend a little more time on a walk with your dog in the park today, you might need her more than you think!