We’ve all heard the research that pets make us happier, but what do you think? Chatting about it with Febreze today and featuring my friend Etienne of Having It All here who just brought home a new puppy, Java…
I’ve been hesitant about getting a dog, but my family is all for it. One of the big hesitations is cleanliness. So I was happy to hear that Febreze has a line of pet products that tackle both the air and the fabric in a pet owner’s home. It includes the Febreze AIR Heavy Duty Pet Odor Eliminating, and the Febreze Fabric Pet Odor Eliminator. It’s a great way to freshen up your dog’s favorite spot, leaving a bit of that classic Febreze ‘just cleaned’ scent.
Another hesitation I’ve had is about travel and the hassle of finding pet care or a pet friendly home while we’re away. I know there are good options, but personally I see a lot of friends and family that admit it’s definitely an added stress when planning a vacation.
But then all this research keeps popping up about how owning a dog is so good for your health. There have been lot of research on how dog owners are happier than non-dog owners, and a lot of discussion about why that may be. Do happier people get dogs, or do dogs really make people happier? Recently I even read this article about how dog owners are happier than cat owners, and that cat owners are actually more unhappy than the average non-pet owner. That’s interesting to think about too.
A few things stand out that make dog owners happier. One, is that dog owners are more active. And we all know activity is good for your health and happiness. One study even found that older people are more likely to take regular walks if the walking companion is canine rather than human. HA! “On average, they exercised about 30 minutes a week more than people who didn’t have dogs.” Well, that’s encouraging. Maybe you need a dog, not a treadmill.
It’s also been shown that dog ownership reduces stress. They’ve found that playing with or petting an animal can increase levels of the stress-reducing hormone oxytocin and decrease production of the stress hormone cortisol. It can even keep blood pressure down for patients that suffer from high blood pressure. The big thing is that the added benefit of stress reduction would have to outweigh the stress of owning a dog! Jury is still out on that one, what do you think?
Not just dogs, there are all kind of pets that have been used in therapy treatments to help with our mental health.
What do you think? Curious if other dog owners feel like they’re happier now than before they had a dog? Do the added benefits outweigh the stress?