By Deepa Thomas-Sutcliffe
“Petting, scratching, and cuddling a dog could be as soothing to the mind and heart as deep meditation and almost as good for the soul as prayer.” – Dean Koontz
Most of us live pretty stressful lives where we are time-starved and often in a rush to get the many tasks at work and home done. There are many ways to relax but, in this article, I will talk about relaxing with your pets.
Playing with or petting an animal is extremely therapeutic as it increases levels of the stress-reducing hormone oxytocin and decreases the production of the stress hormone cortisol. Research shows that pet owners with high blood pressure could keep their blood pressure during times of stress compared to non-pet owners. Pet owners also have increased odds of surviving a heart attack. Eating in the company of your pet can improve your eating habits. Having a pet dog will increase your fitness with the regular walks they require.
A good relationship with your animal friends may spill over into better relations with humans. An animal doesn’t care who you are or what outfit you’re wearing; they want to play and be around you. Taking care of an animal can also teach responsibility and stimulate feelings of trust, openness, and companionship.
Loads of great reasons for why you should get yourself a pet. Some people may have lifestyles that don’t permit the responsibility of a pet but there are options they can consider too. You could foster a stray till they find their forever home, pet-sit a friend’s dog or cat when they are out of town or even just walk a friend’s dog regularly. If none of these suit you, just consider putting food and water out for the local strays and enjoy a few strokes or cuddles with them. You could even volunteer with the wonderful Riyadh Animal Shelter.
I am privileged to be a doggy mum to 2 very handsome and affectionate doggies – Sandy and Puppichino. They are the centre of my world and I love to come home from work or a meal to their wagging tales and loving cuddles. If they think I am working too hard on my MBA, they will both come and nudge me for strokes, bring me their toys and generally force me to take a break. Walking with them in the parks or wadi is quite therapeutic and they get so excited when we say the word “walkies”. Hugging them or stroking them is definitely uber relaxing and I love to go to sleep with their little doggie snuffles and snores telling me all is right in the world. Click here if you would like to read about how my furbabies came into my life https://www.wsbksa.com/2019/01/30/my-gorgeous-fur-babies/
I hope this article inspires you to consider bringing home a pet, try to adopt one from a shelter or the street for unconditional love and loyalty…