Animals: My true love. Unconditional love. MARLEY AND BRUCE. I love you both (I type this like they are ever going to read it?!)

Animals are just amazing. They love us and offer us furry cuddles (even if at times it may seem like unrequited love!). They boost our mood. They make us smile, and laugh and it is proven they make us happy and comfort us more than we know. Other than being adorably cute, our furry creatures come with great mental health benefits. It is proven that just being around animals helps relieve depression, stress and anxiety. Capturing their wonderful and cute moments is one of my favourite things but being around them helps me. If I could, I would probably adopt all the stray animals of the world. Create a giant nest of cute and fuzzy goodness. Roll around and just be happy. Something as simple as lying next to your beloved fluff ball puts you in a better mood, I know it always works for me. Just being near animals is a big stress relieve. They look up at you like you are their world and YOU ARE. To us they may be just a part of our life but to them we are their life. They rely on us for everything: to take care of them, show them love, give them attention, feed them, take them on walks and hide to see if they love you enough to come looking for you. I have. Or pretending to fall and die to see how much they care. I won’t lie, their little faces running towards me make me wonder if I could possibly love them anymore, even if tried….

Most recent studies have shown the exact effects of the human-animal bond. Pets have adapted to our mood and behaviour. Dogs, for example, are able to understand and sense our mood based on our body language, tone of voice and overall demeanour. I know my dog (Bru) will often sense a slight change and picks up on my emotional state. Studies have found that:

  • All pet owners are less likely to suffer from depression than those without pets.
  • People with pets have lower blood pressure in stressful situations than those without pets. One study even found that when people with borderline hypertension adopted dogs from a shelter, their blood pressure declined significantly within five months.
  • Playing with a dog or cat can elevate levels of serotonin and dopamine, which calm and relax.
  • Pet owners have lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels (indicators of heart disease) than those without pets.
  • Heart attack patients with pets survive longer than those without.
  • Pet owners over age 65 make 30 percent fewer visits to their doctors than those without pets.
  • While people with pets often experience the greatest health benefits, a pet doesn’t necessarily have to be a dog or a cat. Even watching fish in an aquarium can help reduce muscle tension and lower pulse rate.
  • Muscle tension relaxes while being around your pet
  • Breathing returns to normal and more regular
  • Reduces levels of cortisol (a stress hormone)
  • Increases the release of oxytocin (a chemical in the body that reduces stress naturally

Having a pet also means that:

  • It eases loneliness
  • They provide companionship 
  • Increase exercise (depending on the animal, we can’t take our fish for a walk…yet?!)
  • Helps you meet new people as you walk your handsome and cute pooch
  • Sensory stress relief
  • Endless cuddles and love meaning we produce more serotonin
  • Adding something to you day (routine of feeding them)
  • They make us feel needed and wanted
  • Unconditional love and lots of affection

Therapy dogs are often used to treat people with a mental illness. They are used in care home and many other places.  Often their pets are what keeps many people going. Our furry babies help us with a host of issues, whether it be physical or our mental well-being. Here are my favourites. From thousands. Brucie & Marley: Some photos of my babies


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