The Gut Health Blog

Why Having a Pet is Beneficial for Gut Health

Jan 15, 2024

While it is true that eating impacts our gut health and overall well-being, many people overlook the role that pets play in gut health. Yes, that's right! Pets can benefit our gut in more ways than one. In fact, there are numerous benefits of having a pet for gut health. Let's touch on a few today.

Pets Reduce Stress Hormone Levels

Stress impacts gut health, leading to inflammation and digestive issues. However, having a pet helps reduce stress. Pets lower the stress hormone, cortisol. Petting your furry friend releases oxytocin. This feel-good hormone lowers cortisol. Having a pet around can assist you in unwinding after a stressful day, which can improve your overall gut health.

Boosts Immune System

Believe it or not, pets introduce good bacteria into our homes. For instance, dogs carry helpful bacteria like Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria. These bacteria can benefit lung and gut health. Dogs can also raise the amount of immunoglobulin A (IgA) on our intestines' surface, which fights bacteria and viruses.

Promotes Physical Activity

Physical activity has numerous benefits for gut health. Walking, running, playing with, and caring for your pet requires you to be active. Exercise can relieve constipation. It also improves bowel function, helping gut health.

Enhances Mood and Social Interaction

Our state of mind can have a profound impact on our gut health. A pet can boost your mood. It does this by reducing anxiety, depression, and loneliness. Owning a dog can improve social interaction. Dog owners often meet other dog owners while walking their dogs. Social interaction is essential for gut health. It is linked to a more diverse microbiome.

Improves Heart Health

Pets lower blood pressure. This supports heart health and circulation. By improving heart health, pets can also improve gut health. Poor circulation can harm gut health. Good circulation leads to nutrient absorption and better gut health.

Having a pet can significantly enhance your overall well-being. Pets can reduce stress. They add good bacteria. They boost activity and mood and aid social interaction. They also improve heart health. A pet can be a great way to add to your plant-based lifestyle. So, next time you consider getting a pet, remember it's more than just companionship. It's a powerful tool that can improve your overall health and well-being! 


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