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Pets can reduce COVID-19 stress: Know how having a cat or a dog can boost your mental health

According to a few studies, men with AIDS were less likely to suffer from depression if they owned a pet.

Can't handle COVID-19 pandemic stress? Adopt a dog, experts say. There are many health benefits of owning a pet. Some of them are listed below.

The world is busy grappling with the coronavirus pandemic, which has so far infected nearly 6 million people and claimed over 3,60,00 lives. In India, over 1,82,000 have been infected by the virus and as many as 5,164 people have succumbed to the disease. With this huge number of cases, it is natural for anyone to feel anxious and tense. If you're finding it hard to deal with the stress and anxiety caused due to COVID-19 pandemic, adopt a pet.

A Queen's University research has shown that the presence of a non-human companion, especially a dog can decrease psychological arousal and stress, and create physiological changes that make us feel better.

What are the benefits of having a pet?

Research shows that, unless you're someone who is really scared of or dislikes animals, adopting pets is a great option. Pets, especially dogs, can provide excellent social support, stress relief, and other health benefits. They are even better than a human companion. Take a look:

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Improves your mood

It is almost impossible to stay in a bad mood for a longer period of time when you have a pair of loving puppies at home. Besides the social support and general health benefits, pets can also lift your mood. According to a few studies, men with AIDS were less likely to suffer from depression if they owned a pet.

Helps control blood pressure

Having a pet may help keep your blood pressure under control. Yes, it's true. While the medicines are generally used to reduce blood pressure, they aren't as effective in controlling spikes in blood pressure due to stress and tension. According to experts, petting dogs and social interaction with companion animals have positive physiological effects on people which help lower the blood pressure.

Encourages you to be on your toes

Whether you walk your dogs or run behind them while playing, you tend to spend more time being active than non-pet owners. Also, most dog owners enjoy their walks more because of the companionship of their pets. This makes you feel good as exercise is good for stress management and overall health.

Helps with the social support

When you are walking your dog, it can make you more approachable socially as people will stop by and talk. This will increase the number of people you meet thus improving your social life which again works wonders in stress management.

Improve your immune system

Pets can improve your immune system. Yes, as they spend a lot of their time outside and therefore bring all sorts of dirt and germs into your home. This isn't necessarily a bad thing as a few studies suggest that the additional germs can help improve your immunity to colds and other mild illnesses.

Pets can reduce the risk of allergies in your children

Some studies suggest that owning a pet will stop your children from developing certain allergies. It is said that the dander in their fur may help. However, it doesn't mean that you should never own a cat or dog if you are allergic to them you won't suddenly become immune.

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