32 ways having a pet can lower your stress levels

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If you're already a pet parent you know that there are endless ways that having a pet can lower your stress levels. If you are considering getting a pet, you'll be happy to know that having a pet can be a form of medicine for the heart, brain, and overall well-being. 

We do our best to provide our furry companions with the best. We spend endless hours searching for the best dog toys or the best cat bed. While we are focused on giving our pets the best life we can, we forget all the ways that our pets make our lives better and maybe most importantly, reduce our stress levels and help us lead happier and fuller lives. 

Read on to find out all the ways that having a pet can lower your stress levels and watch yourself feel more calm at the end. 

32 ways having a pet can lower your stress levels

1.  Provide companionship

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Providing companionship is just one of the ways that a pet can lower our stress levels. Pets can give you that added sense of company, you didn't know you were missing. Having someone to go on walks with or just snuggle on the couch can improve your mood.

2. Improve your physical fitness

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If you have a dog, for example, you will most likely be out on daily walks. Getting those extra steps in is not just a great way to keep your dog healthy but will also be beneficial to you. Don't think that's limited to just dog owners, if you invest in one of the best cat harnesses, you can also get your walk in with your cat.

3. More opportunities to socialize

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Whether it's visiting a dog park, a training class, or just a walk in the park, having a pet will offer you more chances to socialize with other pet parents. You may find new friends that you share things in common with thanks to your furry companion. 

4. Improve your mood

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Whether you're watching your feline tackle the best cat scratching post or seeing your dog chase his tail, these moments can massively improve your mood. Pets can give you something to laugh about or just offer a nice snuggle if you're feeling down.

5. Give you a sense of purpose

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Having a reason to get up every day is something not to be taken for granted. When you know that someone is depending on you for food, water and exercise it adds a sense of purpose and responsibility to your life. 

6. Lowers blood pressure

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Lower blood pressure levels have been linked to those with pets as reported in MSD Manual. Those with pets also are likely to be more active which also helps maintain healthy blood pressure. 

7. Manage anxiety

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According to the American Heart Association, pets can help manage anxiety levels. We have to agree it's hard to feel anxious about anything with a snuggly warm pet in your lap. A pet can listen to your worries and while they may not be able to speak the words, they can reassure you by just being there.

8. Adds routine to your daily life

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Having a pet that depends on you to feed, walk, bathe, or just play with them will add extra activities to your day. Whether you are trying to figure out a dog feeding schedule or the best part of the day to add in playtime with your kitty, having to do these things each day will add more routine and structure to your day.

9. Provide sensory stress relief

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Stroking a pet over and over can calm and soothe you. The sensory experience of soft fur between your fingers can automatically relax you and your pet. So don't worry about spoiling a pet with too many cuddles, there's no such thing. 

10.  Can help relieve symptoms of PTSD

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Irritability and trouble sleeping or concentrating are a few symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. Having a pet around can help ease these symptoms with their sweet personalities and the comfort they provide. Penn Medicine has reported that the human-to-animal bond can encourage an increase in oxytocin, which is a mood-boosting hormone. 

11. Combat loneliness

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There is something to be said for having someone to share your time with. Whether that's hitting up some of the best dog walks in the US or just snuggling on the couch, having a furry pet by your side is guaranteed to lighten your mood.

12. Pets make you laugh

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Whether you have a cat or a dog, your pet companion is guaranteed to give you some giggles. It may be watching your cat play with the best automated cat toys or playing a game of tug of war with the best dog rope toys, you are in for endless chuckles throughout the day. 

13. Add in some relaxation time

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While it is true that having a pet adds more tasks to your to-do list, it is also true that they can add some downtime to your day. Dogs and cats need lots of rest time to recharge their batteries. A lot of times, they will like to be snuggled close to you or at least in the same room to catch up on their Zzzz's. This might mean that you too can take a moment to relax while your furry friend snoozes. 

14. Increased amount of endorphins

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Endorphins are hormones that can reduce stress, pain and improve mood as stated by Healthline. Endorphins can be released when we exercise or even laugh. So it's safe to say that daily walks with your pet, snuggle sessions, or a good laugh can increase this happy hormone.. and who doesn't need more of that?

15. Improved sleep

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Having a solid sleep routine, a good environment, along with a balanced diet and exercise can set you up for a solid night of sleep. Another thing that can help, is your pet. Whether it's the safe feeling they provide knowing they can alert you to anything amiss or just the comfort they give you knowing they are around, a pet can help you sleep more soundly. 

16. Lower chance of depression

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A study done by PLoS One showed two groups of people during COVID-19. The study concluded that the group who were dog owners had higher levels of social support and therefore reported lower numbers of depression than those who were not dog owners. A good enough reason to get a dog, we think! 

17. Can reduce pain

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A study in the Journal of Applied Gerontology showed that a group of people living with chronic pain who were also pet owners. This group of people noted lower pain levels due to the daily physical activity from taking care of their pets, better quality sleep, and improvement of their moods.

18. Help you feel loved

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Maybe it's that tail wagging at 100mph when you walk through the door, or the way your kitty purrs contently while they snuggle up to you. But there is something about their unspoken signs of unconditional love that makes our hearts swell. 

19. Encourage you to get outside

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How much exercise do dogs need? Plenty. Making sure that you are taking your dog or cat out for their daily walk also ensures that you get your dose of fresh air too. 

20. Dogs can double as service animals

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According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, dogs or horses can be registered as service animals. Dogs can assist with several jobs such as pulling a wheelchair or even reminding a person to take their medication. 

21. Animals are great listeners

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If you feel like you have nobody to talk to, your pet is always there to lend an ear. So don't be afraid to talk to them about anything. Life, problems, or just narrate what you're doing, your pet loves to hear the sound of your voice.

22. Help to cope with stressful situations

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Having a cat or dog around you can help you react and handle stressful situations. Pets can relax you and help you stay in a calmer mindset when tricky situations come around.

23.  Make you more present

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Having a pet to love and take care of helps you focus on the 'right now' part of your life. Playing with your furry companion or just soaking up all the love and snuggles they have to give helps you stay and appreciate the present moments.

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Whether you work from home, with one of the best dog breeds for remote workers, or in the office, having a companion around can help you manage work-related stress. Taking a break to cuddle your pet or go out for a walk can make the work more enjoyable and help you take a screen break.

25. Can help clear your mind

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Having a pet who depends on you to take care of them can help organize your thoughts and give you something to focus on. 

26. They are always happy to see you

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After a long day of work or having just run to the store, there is nothing better than walking through the door and having your dog running to meet you. 

27. Seeing them progress is very rewarding

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When you've been working on quick and easy tricks to teach your dog, it is the best feeling when your puppy finally sits when asked. Seeing them learn and progress through their training will make you feel so proud. That's not just limited to dogs, if you've ever wondered can you train a cat, the answer is yes! 

28. Provide a sense of nurturing

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Whether you're spending time grooming with the best dog grooming kit or making sure your feline friend has one of the best cat beds taking care of an animal instills a sense of nurturing inside you. 

29. They are a loyal workout partner

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Having a workout partner can hold you accountable for taking the time for your workouts even if your workout partner has four legs. You can take your pet on a walk, hike, or even a swim. Having someone to exercise along with you can make it more enjoyable. 

30.  An overall better quality of life

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This is not to say, that if you don't have a pet your quality of life will suffer but there is something to be said for having an animal around that makes life seem sweeter. 

31. Provides emotional support

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An emotional support animal can help you with stress and anxiety. Having one of the best emotional support animals can help you if you are going through a difficult time in life.

32. A pet can add security to your home

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Dogs in particular are often used as guard animals. Whether it's their bark that alerts you to someone at the door, or their general appearance that may ward off intruders. You can rest easy knowing your pet is around.

Alexis De Leaver
Digital & Syndication Staff Writer

Alexis has been an editorial writer for over ten years. While her most of her writing has been focused on all things lifestyle content, she has a passion for animals that she hopes shines though in her pieces.