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Science of “Awww”


“Don’t worry, you’re in excellent hands.”

Remarkably, anyone can experience health benefits from companion animals. Recovery from any illness is hastened, blood pressure reduced, will to live increased, immunity enhanced, and mental balance strengthened. Even watching fish in an aquarium can decrease heart rate, blood pressure, and anxiety. Heart attack fatalities are 30% greater in a given population for those who do not have a pet as opposed to those who do. For just this one disease, pet companionship could mean about 30,000 lives saved each year. ~Dr. Wysong

Click here to read the rest of the article titled “Pets As Life Savers: Our Connection To Pets Does Far More Than We Imagine“.


“Human-animal interaction has profound physiological consequences. People, in the contact with animals experience a decrease in blood pressure, reduced anxiety, and a general feeling of well being. By observing the behavior of animals, children learn to be more nurturing and perhaps better parents to their own children. The therapeutic value of animals for socially isolated individuals in nursing homes, hospitals, hospices, and prisons has been documented. People in the presence of animals are often perceived to be more happy and healthy.”    Center For The Human Animal Bond at Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine

dog kissing booth

“The next time a dog comes bounding up to you for a wet, sloppy kiss and a good belly rub, don’t back away. In an ongoing study, a University of Missouri-Columbia researcher has found that interacting and petting animals creates a hormonal response in humans that can help fight depression.”     Dr. Dean Edell

de-stressing effect of a dog tends to occur within minutes

“There’s a wonderful study that was conducted by some people at the University of Pennsylvania, and they looked at men who had their first heart attack and then followed them for several years. They found out that the men who had dogs were much more likely to be alive four years later. The researchers believe that this is part of the effect of reduced stress. And the effects we’re talking about are the same effects that you get with something like Prozac – only those things take anyplace between three to six weeks to build up the effects, whereas the de-stressing effect of a dog tends to occur within minutes.”      Sarah Treleaven


“Got a stressful event coming up, like an unpleasant dental procedure or a tough meeting at work? Watch a few minutes of a wildlife show before heading out of the house. After 10 minutes, you’ll not only have reduced your heart rate and blood pressure, but you’ll also have created a buffer against the physical effects of your upcoming nail-biter.”      Real Age

licking hamster

“…exposure to pets lowers bad neurochemicals such as cortisol, which can lead to depression and anxiety, it boosts good ones like oxytocin, which produces happiness and relaxation.”     A Four-Legged Cure

“If you want to live a healthier life get a dog, research suggests.”   BBC News

“Young children with pets have fewer days off sick from school, according to academics in Coventry.”  BBC News

“Cat owners appear to have a much lower risk of dying from a heart attack than their feline-spurning counterparts, a study suggests“.

Yes indeed, purrs, whiskers and puppy breath — even this cute critter blog — can make you feel pretty darn good. So c’mon, take a look at a few little pictures.

I dare you not to feel better.

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