How a Pet Can Heal a Broken Heart – According to Science
Well, since my baby left me, I found a new place to dwell, down at the end of Lonely Street at the Pet Hotel.
Wait… what? Yeah, you heard us correctly. Forget the Heartbreak Hotel. The real trick to healing after the most brutal of breakups, or any other form of heartbreak, just might be a dog or cat. And don’t take our word for it (although you can read Shannon’s ultra-pathetic personal story here), the positive effects of pet ownership are all actually rooted in real science. So read on to discover why adopting a cat or (hound) dog might keep you from cryin’ all the time.
Pets Change Chemical Levels in Your Body
Anxiety takes a physical toll on your body, but some quality one-on-one time with your furry pal can reverse these changes. Your level of cortisol, a stress hormone, lowers. Interacting with an animal also boosts your serotonin levels. These chemical changes immediately help ease emotional distress.
Pets Boost Your Activity Levels
Any therapist will tell you that exercise can help alleviate a foul mood. A dog or cat can drag you out of bed and force you to face the day. Even just standing up to feed your pet might give you enough momentum to take a shower, get dressed and do some errands. Dogs and cats give your day a little bit of structure which can greatly increase your productivity.
Even better: Staying active with your pet by playing with a toy or going on a walk, will improve serotonin and dopamine levels. These “feel-good chemicals” help heal a broken heart, as well as combat severe mood disorders like Depression and Bipolar Disorder.
Pets Make the Best Teammates
One of the worst parts of a bad breakup, death in the family or other trauma is feeling like you’re all alone. A dog or cat isn’t just a fuzzy roommate. They help assure you that you’re worthy of love and affection. It’s easier to get up and go about your day if you have a pal right beside you.
Pets Make You More Social
Heartbreak has a tendency to isolate people. Sometimes you feel like no one understands what you’re going through. This loneliness manifests into people spending less time with their friends or family. Luckily dogs and cats have a secret power: They force folks to come out of their shell. Whether it’s a stranger sharing their cat photos, or a neighbor asking to pet your dog, this social interaction helps keep the blues at bay. At Found Animals we have a “Better Together” philosophy. Animals and humans give each other strength and light!
Obviously adopting a pet won’t completely fix your life, but they sure make it easier to face your challenges. This is why dogs and cats make such great service and emotional support animals.