There are many many reasons why having dogs and cats around you, petting them and having them as pets is an excellent idea. Now, a new research has said that petting these furry companions can improve college students’ mood with stress-relieving physiological benefits. The study published in the journal AERA Open states that many universities in the US have organised “Pet Your Stress Away” programmes, where students can come in and interact with cats and dogs. According to Patricia Pendry, Associate Professor at Washington State University, spending just about 10 minutes with these animals can have a significant impact in cortisol (a major stress hormone) levels. The study also noted that with reduced stress levels, the students are likely to have better emotional, physical and mental health too.

Better anger management: It is not just stress that you are better able to manage when you have pets around you. Studies have shown that those who have pets generally have low anger levels. This is because dealing with pets requires tonnes of patience, love and care that could be making those who have pets have less anger and make them better at anger resolution.

Alleviating depression: A study said that animal-assisted therapy or health care interventions which employ animals like dogs and others for treatment and rehabilitation of patients can alleviate symptoms of depression and improve quality of life.

Cerebral Palsy and other neurological conditions: Horse-riding has been found to be particularly helpful in assisting kids with cerebral palsy to develop better balance and motor skills. Controlling movements while riding horses could be contributing to better skills, the studies say.

Blood pressure: Having cats curl up and sit on your lap can actually help lower your blood pressure and calm you down. Petting cats or having them around you can significantly reduce your anxiety levels and help calm nerves.