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When pets take your stress away

November 24th, 2003, 08:32 AM


There is a saying that “dog is man’s best friend”. This is certainly true when it comes to dealing with your body’s stress response. Several studies have shown that petting an animal is known to lower your heart rate, lower your blood pressure and brighten your mood.

“Watching your pet’s silly antics can make you laugh and help relieve stress. Pets take away the tension that’s in your daily life, whether it’s for work or family-related problems. There is nothing more relaxing than to see a dog looking at you with his big, brown adoring eyes,” states Amrita Nakai, her three dogs vying for attention at her feet.

Having an animal to hold, cuddle and caress is known to have positive effects on people. “I cuddle my cat whenever I’m feeling low,” tells Nitin Sarin whose family have had up to seven cats and four dogs at one time. Most pet lovers must have felt a warm fuzzy feeling inside just by getting the face licked by a puppy! “After a hard day at work, this kind of attention can really help you to calm down and relax,” reveals Arpita Sharma, a bank employee.

Simply talking to your pet can be very therapeutic as well. The sounds of “meowing” and “woofing” may be more comforting than supportive spouses or friends. One significant reason why Fluffy and Fido are better able to calm their owners is because they are non-judgemental. “Although your pet won’t give you any solutions for your problems, the very act of talking about your concerns with a good listener may help you find your own solutions. You must admit pets are great listeners,” avers Ravleen Singh, research student.

Finally, if you have a dog for a pet, you get to go for a walk during the day. This affords you the perfect excuse to take time to yourself away from your stressors. “These walks give you time to breathe fresh air, join with nature, collect your thoughts, make plans for the day, or just daydream,” says Naina Wadhwa, call centre executive.

But it is collegiate Kismet Nakai who actually sums it up… “They make such great hot water bottles!” Now who can argue with that?