Besides giving us love, an animal “does not judge, it will not question us, or it will laugh at us, nor will it discriminate us because of our physical appearance or if we have committed a crime,” he explains. Therefore, a multitude of psychological therapies incorporates animals to reinforce self-esteem, get people to express their feelings or instill good habits. “A dog does not cure, but it can be a bridge to get to the person,” says the specialist.If you do not have a pet, you may start thinking about it after reading these ten benefits that it can have for you, both physical and social and psychological. IMPROVE CARDIAC HEALTHA study by the American Heart Association has shown that dog owners have a lower risk of cardiovascular disease.Diverse investigations aim that the mere fact to caress to a dog or to contemplate the fish of an aquarium has a relaxing effect that reduces the cardiac frequency. Another study from the State University of New York on 240 married couples with and without pets found that blood pressure was significantly lower in pairs with animals.One more fact: in pet owners who suffer heart disease have the probability of surviving a heart attack increases.FREE HORMONE OF HAPPINESSAfter sharing a game with their pets, their owners experience a burst of oxytocin, also called the molecule of love. It is a hormone that is associated “with breastfeeding or pleasure,” says Vila. Oxytocin helps reduce stress levels and is an excellent antidote to depression.REDUCES THE POSSIBILITIES OF NURSEChildren who grow up with dogs around them are less likely to fall ill. A Finnish study confirmed in 2012 that babies who live with dogs suffer 30% less respiratory diseases and 50% fewer ear infections. In fact, the more the dog leaves the house, the fewer conditions they suffer. The hypothesis of the experts is that being more exposed to dirt, children develop a stronger immune system.Growing up with dogs and cats also decreases the risk of developing allergies. An experiment from the Medical Institute of Georgia (United States) that tried to show that children who lived with pets developed more allergies was just the opposite result. Children who had dogs or cats at home suffered 50% fewer allergies and 45% less asthma than those who did not live with animals. DECREASE STRESSThe team of psychiatrist Sandra Baker of the Commonwealth Universities of Virginia (USA) measured the brain waves of different dog owners before and after spending time with them. They discovered that after interacting with their animals, people experienced an increase in the frequency of waves associated with relaxation and a decrease in their level of the stress hormone, cortisol. Also, people who interact with animals while working are less stressed.Spend time with pets: IMPROVES PHYSICAL FORMNaturally, taking the dog for a walk, running or playing with it supposes a physical activity that is always beneficial, but has you ever considered that those steps could mean more exercise time than going to the gym? A British brand of pet products registered the average time spent by dog owners to walk with them: five hours and 38 minutes per week. How much do people who go to the gym dedicate to training? One hour and twenty minutes a week.ALLEVIATE LONELINESS AND DEPRESSIONDepressed people do not feel the desire to relate. “If the person maintains a link with an animal, he already has a reason to get out of bed, even if he does not feel like doing anything, he should feed him and take him out,” says Maribel Vila. “Besides, the depressed person does not want to tell what is happening to them, but maybe they feel able to talk to their animal, that’s a lot.”Animals also reduce the feeling of loneliness; The expression itself already says: they are pets. Therefore, they are mainly positive for single and older adults. Vila has verified the revitalizing effect of taking a dog to a geriatric center. “The mere fact of seeing it already activates the memories of the elderly and makes them talk about the pets they had,” he explains. “In many cases, they suffer physical pain and do not want to do physical therapy, but through games with the dog they work without realizing their motor skills, balance and attention.” IMPROVE SOCIAL LIFEIn many occasions, a pet is an excuse to meet new people: in the parks, there are groups of dog owners who meet there, strangers who come to pet a puppy or the conversations that arise about anecdotes or the care of the Animals are everyday scenes.STIMULATE CHILDRENIn addition to being a playmate for children, growing up with a pet is an opportunity to teach him to be responsible and to respect animals. Dogs and babies have an instant connection, they show each other things, and on occasion, they are the best guardian angels.REINFORCES SELF-ESTEEM”Pet owners have higher self-esteem (…) tend to be less lonely, are more aware of what is happening and more outgoing, tend to be less fearful and less worried than people who do not have animals.” That is the conclusion reached by scientists from the universities of Miami and Saint Louis after an investigation.The practical application is the exercise that is usually done with children with some difficulty to read aloud to dogs. The animals are not going to laugh at how they do it or if they are wrong, and so the little ones reinforce their security and self-confidence, explains Vila. In the same sense, psychologists who serve prisoners with low self-esteem and who do not want to interact, use dogs to feel warmth and acceptance. “It also reinforces his empathy, since it is easier to show emotions towards a dog than towards a person, and more in a prison environment,” reflects Vila. IT MAKES US REIRThe animals infect happiness and make us laugh for their abilities, for their similarities, for their innocence and for how cute they are, among thousands of reasons.Pets are the best antidepressantsThe impact of animals on the lives of human beings is so confident that even many health programs in several countries have begun to include more pets in the therapies. In addition to the guides, some dogs are being trained to support people with diabetes or merely to be with children and the elderly.But to make the most of them, it is necessary to take care of them, taking them to the veterinarian and keeping them healthy, since pets can also cause allergies or be carriers and transmitters of serious diseases such as rabies or toxoplasmosis. The main thing is to protect them so that their life is even more lasting. “Pets cause us to be better people because they give us lessons every day,” Marcela concludes.About us:No doubt, pets have become a member of the family. Every day they are more valued, because beyond offering fun and companionship, their presence has a positive impact on the physical and mental health of the people, making the quality of life and the feeling of well-being increase.