It’s no secret that reducing stress can lead to better health overall. Taking time for sleep, exercise, and meditation contributes to lower blood pressure, faster healing time, greater happiness, and increased longevity.

Pet owners may have the upper hand when it comes to reaping the rewards of downtime. Relaxing with pets is easy (and fun!), and it can accelerate the health benefits associated with stress reduction.

Weekend Warriors

On average, pet owners get more exercise than non-pet owners. Exercise doesn’t seem inherently relaxing, but regular activity contributes to better heart health and a significant reduction in stress. Indoor pet owners can also reap the benefits – a rousing game of feather chase or an afternoon spent building a catio or bird watching perch can be just as invigorating as a walk around the block. For the ultimate relaxation with pets, try a little dose of pet yoga!

Snuggle Time

The health benefits of touch are widely reported. Touching and being touched boosts the immune system, lowers blood pressure, and can help people heal both physically and emotionally. Having a pet automatically increases the opportunity to experience the benefits of touch – even birds and some reptiles enjoy being caressed. So sit back, relax, and pet your pet!

A Friend for Life

One of the greatest benefits of relaxing with pets comes from the sense of companionship they provide. Even though we’re able to connect with people like never before, feelings of loneliness and isolation are actually on the rise. Loneliness is a serious source of stress, which is one of the reasons spending time with a pet can be so helpful.

Besides being a constant source of companionship, being out and about with a pet (dog park, pet supply store, daily walk, etc.) can increase our opportunities to interact with others. Plus, people with pets are generally perceived as more approachable.

Relaxing with Pets

When it comes to relaxing with pets, there’s no right or wrong way to go about it. Whether you’re cuddled up on the couch together or out for your daily jog, the feeling of having a friend close by brings a level of contentment that’s hard to beat.

What’s your favorite way to relax with your furry best friend? We’d love to hear about it during your next wellness visit! As always, please contact The Pet Experts at Naperville Animal Hospital with any questions or concerns!