How Pets Help with Stress (and more)

How Your Pet Helps with Stress

Ask pet owners why they love their pets, and chances are that many answers will include something about the stress-relieving and calming aspect of pet ownership. It’s true that pets can involve a lot of work–feeding, exercise, training, and vet visits–but the rewards far outnumber the costs. In fact, scientific research has shown definitively that owning a pet can reduce stress, along with providing other health benefits.

Pet Companionship Can Fight Loneliness

For older people, people with disabilities, or anyone who needs to be isolated in their home for an extended period, owning a pet can mean the difference between loneliness and fulfilling companionship. The daily routine of caring for a pet, along with the physical comfort many pets can provide, help lift spirits and give structure to life at home. Therapy and service animals can go even further to help keep people safe and stress-free at home.

Pets Can Reduce Stress and Anxiety

While it might not take a scientific study to convince you that petting a fluffy cat or dog can reduce your stress levels, the health benefits of pet ownership can go much deeper, as highlighted in this fascinating article from the NIH.

Different studies have shown that pets can reduce levels of cortisol (a stress hormone), help patients cope with pain and terminal illness, and even help kids with attention disorders focus better in the classroom.

Caring For Your Pets (Like They Care For You)

To ensure you get the greatest benefits from your pet, there are many steps you can take to give them a long and healthy life. First and foremost is what you feed them–the right pet food can help your pet stay healthy, prevent excess weight gain, and keep their skin and teeth in good condition. Here are some examples of what to look for in quality pet food for some of the most popular types of pets:

  • Cat Food: Your feline friend needs a balanced diet with plenty of protein and taurine, an essential amino acid.
  • Dog Food: Dog food should contain protein from the right sources, blended with other natural, healthy ingredients.
  • Rabbit Food: Rabbits need a high-fiber diet, and we recommend alfalfa-based rabbit food.
  • Pot-Bellied Pig Food: As omnivores, pigs need a diet with a balance of protein, fiber, and fat.

No matter what kind of pet you’re caring for, it’s important to choose a pet food without unnecessary antibiotics, harmful preservatives, or other additives that might do more harm than good. Star Milling is a monensin-free facility; in fact, we operate a drug-free feed mill, never blending antibiotics into our feeds. You can feed your pets our high-quality products without worrying about potentially dangerous ingredients that your furry companions don’t need.

Choosing a Pet

When deciding on a pet, you’ll need to consider your lifestyle, preferences, and abilities. For example, many dog breeds are high-energy and require lots of exercise and training. They’re great for an active owner who’s willing to put in the time to teach them good behavior, not to mention all the other benefits of dog ownership.

On the other hand, cats are generally content at home and don’t require as much hands-on training. Other choices include hamsters, birds, rabbits, and even pot-bellied pigs. Do your research before choosing your pet: talk to people who own the type of pet you’re interested in, join online pet owner groups, and watch instructional videos.

If you’re looking for a trusted source of food for your pet, Star Milling has been producing safe, quality feed for all types of animals for more than 45 years. Contact us to learn more about healthy food choices for your pet.

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