Pet Perks: The Benefits of Animal Ownership after Weight Loss SurgeryPosted: May 13 in Weight Loss Blog by Staff
We all know that dogs are “man’s best friend,” but why is this the case? Though any animal lover will tell you they enjoy spending time with their furry friends, you may not have known that spending time with animals can have big benefits for your health.
After weight loss surgery, many friends can help you stay focused and motivated on the path to success, including your pets. No matter how many human friends you have, pets have special benefits that make them a valuable addition to any weight loss surgery support system.
Many studies have examined the effects that pets can have on us. Researchers have found that pet owners, regardless of the type of pet, tend to visit the doctor less, feel safer and even enjoy life more. As you lose weight, you can take advantage of these same benefits by experiencing the many things that a pet can do for you:
- Your pet can exercise with you. When you chase, play with and care for your pet that effort translates to calories burned. Dogs are the best for this purpose, as they usually have a tireless enthusiasm for walking, running and playing, but studies show that any pet, whether furry, scaly or feathered, can increase your activity levels.
- Your pet can socialize with you. Having a good animal friend can help you make more human friends, as most people perceive pet owners as amiable and open. Taking your dog, snake, parrot or monkey for a stroll is sure to draw a few smiles and may help you spark up friendly conversations. If you hope to make some new allies after weight loss surgery, your pet may be the icebreaker you need.
- Your pet can make you feel great. Though playing with a puppy for five minutes should be evidence enough of this, research has shown that spending time with a pet can boost your brain’s levels of dopamine and serotonin, which elevate your mood. Playing with a pet can also boost levels of the pleasure hormone oxytocin and take some anxiety out of stressful tasks. Pets have even been shown to be more effective at controlling blood pressure than most prescription drugs!
Owning a pet is the best way to get these benefits, but don’t rush out to adopt a dog if you don’t feel ready for the time commitment or responsibility. Those who don’t own pets can still enjoy the benefits of animal interaction after weight loss surgery by spending time with friends and family members who have fuzzy companions. Try asking a friendly neighbor if you can walk his or her dog—you can get the benefits of exercising with an animal and your neighbor can get a much-needed break!
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