A touch of unconditional love

Pet peeves

A touch of unconditional love

Dogs are known to alleviate stress and provide unconditional love. They work like a charm to cheer a person up instantly. Be it physically, mentally or emotionally, a dog can be one’s best friend and most dog owners love to come home to them.

 Studies conducted as early as the 80s have proven that dogs improve one’s physical and mental health.     Pragathi Gurkar, a student, says, “After a long, exhausting day, coming home to a fur ball full of energy is all the therapy I need.”

Dog owners invariably get their daily requirement of physical activity too as dogs need to be taken for a walk and love being played with. Anoshka Jhaveri, a student, says that having a dog has helped her be more active physically. “Earlier, I’d keep telling myself to go to the gym or take to aerobics to stay fit. But somehow, I never ended up doing it. But now that I’ve got my dog, Bruno, I run everyday even if I don’t want to!”

Many studies also bust the misconception that pets are the cause of allergies. In fact, children in homes with pets are less susceptible to allergies and have heightened immunity, they say.    

Dog owners are said to be at a lesser risk of heart disease, as petting an animal is proven to reduce blood pressure levels.

Vignesh Avarekad, a student, says he enjoys playing with his dog. “When I get back home, my dog jumps in joy like there’s no tomorrow. It is this unconditional love that soothes both your body and mind.”

Dogs not only understand physical gestures but also one’s body language and tone of voice.    One of the reasons why having a dog is therapeutic is because they fulfill the basic human need of physical contact. Playing with a dog is known to elevate serotonin and dopamine levels, which have a calming effect.

 Says Dr Satish Ramaiah, the chief of Mind Care at ‘People Tree Hospitals’, “A pet may not suit the lifestyle of every single person. But if it does, it goes a long way in giving the owners a sense of positivity.” 

 However, owning a dog can be stressful  especially because it involves a lot of care and responsibility. One needs to take them out for a walk, entertain them or keep them clean. But somewhere along the way, all this effort is worth it as one can’t help but fall in love with them.  Suman Bolar, a mother of two, says that growing up  with a pet has taught her teenage sons how to be caring.

Owning a pet can also be helpful for old people, says Dr Satish. “Elderly people tend to feel lonely and having a pet eases that feeling. It also boosts their morale.” Pragathi sums up saying, “They just know how to keep you happy, without trying too hard.”  

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