Stress levels have increased among adults in the US in the past decade and millennials find it especially challenging to manage this condition. Stress is a major factor in mental health issues such as depression and can also hamper one’s overall health. The good news is that our pets can help is cope with stress among other mental health issues and even help with overall health. This is proven by studies time and again, so much so that war veterans that suffer from post traumatic stress disorder are treated with dogs because their sheer company is healing. Our pets’ simple gestures such as their attempt to play with us, their display of affection and unconditional love is enough for us to forget the stresses of a long day of work.
Here are three ways pets help cope with stress and other health issues:
1. Pets have a therapeutic presence.
The simple act of stroking your cat can have you divert your focus from your daily worries and encourages a sense of safety. Research indicates that owning a pet results in a decreased blood pressure and heart rate. What’s more, even just the thought of one’s pet helps one complete tasks more efficiently and boost confidence. Put those motivational books aside, turn off the self-help talk and start spending quality time with your furry friend because that alone will do the trick!
2. Pets help relieve depression.
The notion of pet therapy is taking a strong foothold in the US as more and more hospitals bring in pets to interact with patients to reduce their stress and anxiety. The presence of pets in a hospital helps create a normal environment and brings in joy and relaxation to patients that spend time with them as they help to generate positive feelings of love and acceptance.
In some cases, patients have been able to get off anti-depression medication because of their frequent interaction with pets. This is because spending time with pets results in the release of anti-depression hormones such as serotonin and dopamine that work even more effectively than any pill would, without any side-effects. Moreover, the mere stare of your pet into your eyes results in the release of the “joy” homone called oxytocin.
3. Pets increase overall health levels.
The company of a pet has positive effects on one’s cardiovascular system, more than conversing with another human could. Pets have the ability to decrease your chances of getting heart disease thanks to hormones that are secreted in your body in the presence of your pet. Dog owners, in particular, tend to have a more active lifestyle which, in turn, helps reduce the chances of having heart diseases. Oxytocin released thanks to your pet’s company can have a great effect on your metabolism helping in maintaining a healthy body mass index. Having a pet can even help those with existing heart condition by increasing their longevity.
If you’re the kind of person that loves animals and want to be your own boss, why not start a pet-related business? You don’t have to be a veterinarian to have an animal-related career. There is an entire pet industry that creates thousands of jobs ranging from food manufacturing to pet grooming and so forth. You can be a part of this industry too and live off your passion for taking care of animals. Depending on your interests and skill set, one of the following five pet-related business may be the one for you:
1. A pet sitting company
Much like a baby-sitting business, a pet sitting company provides professionals with the peace of mind knowing their furry friends are taken care of while they are away on business trips or busy at work. This is a great start-up idea mainly because it doesn’t require financial investment on your part. All you need are pet skills and with good word of mouth your business is sure to take off. Before you know it, you may have to hire other pet lovers like yourself to meet the growing demand for your services. Over time, you may consider getting pet-sitting insurance (yes, that’s a thing!) to protect your enterprise from a misfortune in case something were to happen to one of your pet-clients.
2. A professional pet grooming service
There are as many types of pet hair cuts as there are breeds of cats. Considering how furry pets are, you’ll never run out of business as a pet groomer! This undertaking will require you to invest both time in getting trained in professional pet grooming as well as money for your tools and possibly even space. You can provide services like hair trimming, hair cutting, bathing, etc.
3. A pet photography venture
If you have a pet, you know how much pet owners (or pet parents, as some would like to be called) love their pets. Pet owners want to capture the joys of having such a wonderful companion and cherish their memories for a lifetime. A pet photography venture would allow you to do just that. With the right photography skills and gear, you can turn simple moments like a walk with a dog into an image that pet owners can boast about to everyone they know.
4. A pet training school
This school can have curricula for different animals as well as have variations of full training programs in addition to more specific courses like obedience training. If you’re tech savvy and have access to a video camera, you can even create online courses with tips and tricks. This will bring traction to your training school plus help pet guardians deal with untrained pets who cannot otherwise attend your courses in person. Such a training school will do more than just train animals; it will also teach good behaviours to new pet parents that have had no previous experience with pets before.
5. Run a pet-related blog/website
Pet parents love to read up on pet quirks and stories so if you are passionate about writing and love animals, this may bring the big bucks for you! You can turn your blog/website into a hub and let your audience immerse in multimedia content all day, every day. The best part about having a website is that it has no geographical barriers so people across the globe will have access to your posts and you can make money by using ad services like Google Ads, etc.