World Animal Day 2022: how can living with a dog or a cat improve our immunity and our happiness hormone?

On the occasion of the World Animal Day 2022here are all the good reasons to live by their side and love them…

Decline in mortality

A study has just revealed that living with a dog increases life expectancy, reducing the risk of death from all causes by 24%. More specifically, dog handlers have much better cardiovascular health, especially those who have already had a heart attack or stroke. ” Living with a dog always comes with a daily increase in physical exercise, lower blood pressure and better cholesterol levels. “, reported Caroline Kramer, endocrinologist, professor of medicine at the University of Toronto. And add ” As a dog adopter myself (a Miniature Schnauzer named Romeo), I can tell you that he upped my dose ofphysical activity daily of course, but that he also filled my daily life with joy and unconditional love “. Would that be the most important?

Happiness hormone increase

We now know that simple eye contact with your pet, dog or cat, increases the level of oxytocin, an octopeptide synthesized by the hypothalamus, in the two concerned. It was Japanese researchers who demonstrated this through a study published in 2015 in the magazine Science. However, this hormone, when it is high, promotes attachment to others, especially that of an infant to its mother (and vice versa). It also promotes trust, empathy and generosity. The binding of oxytocin to its receptors (in the nucleus accumbens) even induces the release of serotonin, which leads to relaxation and good mood. Studies are also currently underway to study the beneficial effects of oxytocin in certain cases of autism, social phobias, fears and depression. Which would explain why more and more therapies including animals are emerging to help people with disabilities, autism and the elderly.

Waves of relaxation

We know today that the purring of a cat, made up of very deep sounds of 25 to 50 hertz, makes it possible to physiologically consolidate fractures, to treat osteoarthritis or to accelerate the healing process. At the same time, from a psychological point of view, everything happens as if the emotion triggered by listening to the purr led to the production, or at least the release of serotonin, with the effect of a state of serenity which leads to a phase of slow pre-sleep “, explains the Dr Yves Gauchetveterinarian, in his book My cat and I, we treat each other ! (Editions Le Courrier du Livre). In the end, relaxing with a cat that purrs against you leads to: skin, muscle and mental relaxation, emotional relief, help with falling asleep. And Yves Gachet concludes: “ Purring therapy remains an assistance, a boost and a comfort, but it is economical, effective and safe. There’s really no reason not to. »

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World Animal Day 2022: how can living with a dog or a cat improve our immunity and our happiness hormone?

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