Lift & Shift Foundation

Pets And Stress

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The Healing Power of Pets

Pets are more than just cute companions - they can also have a powerful impact on our mental health and well-being. Studies have shown that pet ownership can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, as well as increase feelings of social support and overall happiness. Whether it's the soothing presence of a purring cat or the unconditional love of a loyal dog, pets have a special ability to bring joy and comfort to our lives.

Goose on the Loose Backpack

The Benefits of Pet Ownership

There are countless benefits to pet ownership, including:

  • Reduced stress and anxiety: Studies have shown that spending time with pets can lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol and increase the production of oxytocin, a hormone that promotes feelings of calm and relaxation.
  • Improved mental health: Pet ownership can help alleviate symptoms of depression and loneliness, and provide a sense of purpose and meaning in life.
  • Increased physical activity: Owning a pet can motivate you to get outside and exercise, which has numerous health benefits of its own.
  • Social support: Pets can provide a sense of companionship and social support, especially for those who live alone or have limited social connections.

Whether you're looking to reduce stress, improve your mental health, or just have a furry friend to cuddle up with, pet ownership can be a powerful tool for improving overall well-being. So why not consider adopting a pet and experiencing the healing power of pets for yourself?

Different Types of Pets

(Not sure which type of pet is right for you? Here's a brief overview of the different types of pets, even ones that can be therapeutic for individuals with PTSD)

There are many different types of pets to choose from, each with their own unique characteristics and benefits. Whether you're looking for a loyal companion, a low-maintenance friend, or a unique and educational pet, there is a type of pet that can fit your needs and lifestyle. Here are some examples of popular pet types and their benefits:

  • Dogs: Owning a dog can provide a sense of security and protection, as well as encourage regular exercise through walking and playing. Dogs are also known for their loyalty and ability to form strong bonds with their owners.
  • Cats: Cats are known for their independent nature and can be a good fit for busy or introverted individuals. They are low maintenance and can provide stress relief through their calming presence and purring.
  • Small animals: Small animals like hamsters, guinea pigs, and rabbits can make great pets for children or those with limited space. They require minimal care and can provide a sense of responsibility and nurturing for their owners.
  • Birds: Birds can make entertaining and social pets, and some species are known for their ability to mimic speech or songs. They can also be low maintenance and require minimal space.
  • Reptiles: Reptiles can make unique and educational pets, and some species have a calming presence. They require specific care and habitat requirements, and may not be suitable for all individuals.

Pets can be a powerful source of love, joy, and comfort, and can have a positive impact on our mental health and well-being. So don't be afraid to show some self care and bring a furry friend into your life. And if you're a proud pet owner or dog lover, be sure to check out our online store for novelty shirts and other pet-themed items. Your purchase helps support our nonprofit and its mission to promote mental health and well-being.

Easily Support Our Work

We believe supporting stress-reducing hobbies is an important part of our mission. If you found our tips helpful, please consider sharing them with your friends, family, and community. We also made it easy to support our work with donor gifts from our online store. And if you'd like to stay up-to-date on our latest stress-reducing activities, join our email newsletter today.

  1. "The Role of Pets in Enhancing Human Well-Being: Effects for Older People." by Lynette A. Hart (1995). The Waltham Book of Human-Animal Interaction.
  2. "Association between Pet Ownership and Mental Health and Well-Being of Canadians Assessed in a Cross-Sectional Study during the COVID-19 Pandemic." Denis-Robichaud, José (2022). International journal of environmental research and public health.
  3. The Power of Pets. NIH News in Health.