Benefits of the Human-Animal Bond

Benefits of the Human-Animal Bond

There is a lot of talk about how pet guardianship can benefit humans. But did you know this important symbiotic relationship can also benefit our furry friends? In honor of International Human-Animal Bond Day, let’s explore how having a family is good for dogs and cats and vice versa!

Dogs and Cats Get Loving Homes

A strong human-animal bond means that dogs and cats are well cared for. In fact, up to 85% of pet guardians consider their animal companions to be a member of the family. That translates to better care and increased spending on their health and well-being. In 2022, Americans spent a whopping $136.8 billion on their animal companions! They spent the money providing the best food, accommodations, and medical care.

And when it comes to family bonding, dogs and cats feel strong connections with their humans and other animal companions. In fact, they’ve been known to grieve at the loss of a human or animal connection.

Animals with Families Get More Exercise

Humans and animals both enjoy numerous physical and emotional benefits from the human-animal bond. For example, when a guardian has a strong bond with their furry friend, they’re more likely to spend time playing with, walking, or otherwise interacting with their dog or cat. This encourages mental stimulation and physical health for both parties.

Meanwhile, pet guardians are less likely to have cardiovascular problems, have lower cortisol levels, and experience lower blood pressure. Specifically, having a dog increases physical activity and lowers levels of obesity.

Mental Health and Social Benefits for Humans and Animals

In addition, research has shown that the human-animal bond can help people living with mental health concerns. For example, symptoms of depression and anxiety show improvement when people interact with dogs and cats.

Multiple studies have shown positive results for individuals who have experienced trauma, including a reduction of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms such as dissociation and flashbacks. Finally, dogs and cats can help individuals living with a serious mental illness, such as schizophrenia, regulate their emotions and adhere to treatment recommendations.

What’s more, interacting with neighbors while on a walk or supporting someone in your community who needs help caring for a dog or cat can help bring people together. So not only does pet guardianship reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness, but it can also foster stronger communities.

PAWS NY Is Dedicated to Supporting the Human-Animal Bond

In New York City, PAWS NY works to help keep families together with their companion animals by providing pet care support to older adults and individuals with illness or disability. Volunteers help with dog walking, litterbox maintenance, transportation to and from the vet, and other tasks, allowing clients to focus all their time on loving and connecting with their animal companion—on Human-Animal Bond Day and every day!

The post Benefits of the Human-Animal Bond appeared first on Animal Wellness Magazine.

The post “Benefits of the Human-Animal Bond” by Carrie Nydick Finch, LCSW was published on 11/08/2023 by