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Talking To Your Pet Is Actually Really Good For Your Health

When you're home alone with your fur, scale or feather baby you're probably just as vocal as you are when your human fam is about. But, while you might be grateful they don't complain when you talk about Celebs Go Dating or judge when you bitch about your boss, you'd probably be pretty embarrassed if someone heard your one-sided conversation. Well science says you shouldn't be - because it's good for both of you, and that's all that matters.

Credit: Unsplash
Credit: Unsplash

They conversation may be pretty one sided bar the occasional head tilt, meow, bark or squeak, but according to research from the University of Queensland, turning to them for support, assurance or even just a listening ear is actually a healthy thing to do.

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The Australian study found that animals often were ranked as high as (and arguably higher than) siblings, significant others, family and friends as a source of social support.

Credit: Unsplash
Credit: Unsplash

According to psychologist and licensed clinical social worker, Dr. Danielle Forshee, in conversation with Elite Daily: "Pet owners believe that they should give and receive love and affection from their animals." Along with feeding them, petting them, and smothering them with hugs and kisses, talking to your pet is what will ultimately create and perpetuate that ongoing bond."

And yeah, in a perfect world, you'd only talk about good things with everyone all the time, but that's not realistic, and the best part is, your pet really doesn't care about you being a bit negative.

What matters when you talk to your pet isn't what you say, but how you say it.

Credit: Unsplash
Credit: Unsplash

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Different tones of voice are used to distinguish between commands, corrections, and praise. Commands are given in a firm, strong tone of voice. Corrections get a little lower, sharper and growlier. Praise is more exuberant and excited.

In other words: don't reenact the argument you had with Linda in HR too accuratly because your doggo or meow baby doesn't need to know how loud her passive aggression was - and could think it's them who you have beef with.

If you don't feel too chatty, just the sheer act of sharing your space with a non-human companion can improve your health, whether you talk to them or not.

Credit: Unsplash
Credit: Unsplash

Danielle says that just having them there can "reduce stress, help fight depression, lower blood pressure, and prevent heart disease." And the science certainly backs up that theory.

A recent study revealed that men with AIDS were less likely to suffer from depression if they owned a pet.

While another at the State University of New York at Buffalo said pets are more effective than drugs at controlling blood pressure.

Credit: Unsplash
Credit: Unsplash

Saint Louis University did research into nursing home residents spending time with dogs and found that quiet time spent alone with the dog, rather than the dogs and other people, like their handlers, was the most effective way to reduce loneliness levels in residents.

A study from the State University of New York at Buffalo also found that a few minutes alone with a pet cat or dog might do more to help people's stress than talking about their troubles with their best friend or spouse.

Plus, PetMD reports there's research that suggests "talking in a happy tone" to your fur baby can actually improve your mood if you're feeling down that day.

So regardless of who's around strike up a conversation with your fur baby today. You might not get more than a meow, woof or snuffle in response, but at least you know they're listening and you're both getting something out of you offloading.

Featured Image Credit: Unsplash

Topics: Healthy, Life News, Real

Amelia Jones

Amelia is a freelance journalist and editor specialising in beauty, health, fitness and lifestyle. She has previously worked for titles including Women's Health, Cosmopolitan, Stylist, Red and the Mail on Sunday. Follow her on Instagram @ameliajeanjones or contact her via email at ameliajeanjones@gmail.com.

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