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5 Psychological Benefits to Having Pets at Home

By AmberKingsley. | Dog Info

I wanted to tell you about Colonel Deems and his dog Riley.

  In a court case reported in the New York Times in 1908, it was announced that the Colonel's attachment to his pet was "not evidence of a mental derangement." Now, over 100 years later, we know even more: that Riley probably helped Colonel Deems stave off depression and anxiety associated with living alone as a bachelor.
  • Pets and Their Humans

People of all ages can benefit from any kind of pet - dogs small and large, cats, fish, birds, and even farm animals, amphibians and reptiles have a profound effect on our brain chemistry, making us feel good, soothing us through rough times, and providing loving companionship. Colonel Deems and Riley are an early illustration of the beneficial effects pets have on the humans who love them.
  • Pets and Stress

Some of the worst ailments we suffer are caused or amplified by stress. As primitive humans, we needed the mechanism in our brains that responds to stress, a hormone called cortisol, in order to survive. Odds were very good that if we were under stress, it was because we were in some sort of danger that required a response, which today we call "Fight or Flight." The release of cortisol triggered the release of glucose and adrenaline to our blood so we would have the energy to handle the danger. Back then, "danger" was predators and nature, and the cortisol and other hormones would get burned off by exertion. But in a world where we are more often prey to paperwork and deadlines than tigers or bears, that exertion just isn't happening. The effects of having these hormones in our bodies on long-term basis can cause or elevate diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease, among other types of damage. This is why the studies that show reduction of stress symptoms as a result of contact with pets is so significant. 5 Psychological Benefits to Having Pets at Home
  • Pets and Oxytocin

Indeed, pets have the opposite effect, in that they cause the release of oxytocin, a happiness hormone that brings calm and focus. This hormone is most associated with mothers' brains the delivery and care of infants, but sure enough, our pets bring it out in all of us, plus a few other of our feel-good hormones such as dopamine and serotonin, the latter of which is what antidepressants try to elevate. The physiological effects of these hormones on the body? Decreased heart rate, inhibition of cortisol, and the release of calming hormones (the fact that our presence does this to our pets as well is an added bonus!).
  • Pets and Kids

These soothing physiological and psychological benefits have been studied especially with regards to two age groups. The first is children, who receive a host of benefits from regular interaction with pets, including a heightened sense of responsibility and an increased awareness of the feelings of others. Pets also help children with issues of loneliness the same way they help adults, so they can help children build social skills and self-esteem they may not be getting from having lots of friends. Numerous programs have applied pets therapeutically by introducing them to underprivileged, abused, neglected, and "problem" children and teens. 5 Psychological Benefits to Having Pets at Home
  • Pets and the Elderly

The other age group that particularly benefits from interaction with pets is the elderly. Elderly people do have unique concerns with regards to pets, such as considering their own health, the size and liveliness of the pet, or the pet's health. However, all of the same benefits apply, and this can be critical for the elderly. As friends and relatives begin dying, elderly survivors can fall prey to depression and inactivity. Healthy and active elderly people can meet others in the course of purchasing toys for a cat, walking a dog, or grooming a horse. Elderly people in poor health should probably consider a less active pet, but even a goldfish or a turtle can cause the release of those balancing happy hormones. Terminal patients have shown a more calm and focused approach to their diagnosis when exposed to pets. The joy pets provide us with, gives us more than just happy emotions. Those emotions have benefits to our overall health. Pets provide us with peace, calm, and love, and that transfers to ourselves and those around us. Like the positive outlook Riley provided Colonel Deems, our pets make us feel good mentally, and that in turn makes us more healthy physically. Psychological Benefits to Having Pets and Dog Seat Covers: Cargo, Dog Bed Liner, Bed Cover: 30% Off Premium Seat Covers

Amber KingsleyAmber Kingsley

Amber Kingsley is a freelance writer whom has donated countless hours supporting her local shelters. With writing, she has spent most of her research on animals with regards to food, health and training.


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We liked the first cover so much that a few days later we purchased a second one. The cover installs very, very easily, fits and covers the rear seat and the back of the front seats of our Subaru Tribeca perfectly, has flaps that cover the door-side edges of the rear seat, and stays perfectly in place. Spilled or tracked water beads up on the material and can be easily wiped off. At first our dog did tend to slide just a little on the new cover, but he soon learned to stand, sit, and lay just as well as he did before on the uncovered seat. The hammock portion seems like it might provide some little bit of protection in a sudden stop (our guy will chew apart any "doggie seat belt" type of restraint in very short order - so that option is out of the question for us). As to keeping him out of the car front-area - well, our long-legged Standard Poodle has no problem in still looking closely out the front windshield by putting his front feet on the center console - straddling the hammock - with no problem whatsoever. But we did discover that having the hammock in place does allow us to safely keep his water bottle and dish, his leash, and an old towel on the floor under the hammock - where he can no longer get at them (especially the leash and towel) to chew on them. All in all, an excellent seat cover.


My furbabies don't like leather seats!!!! But they love this seat cover!!!

Very hard to find a split bench seat cover at a reasonable price, this one fit the bill. Easy to install, very durable and looks to be easy to clean. Wanted something that would protect the leather seats and was pet friendly (hate it when the material of regular seat covers snags toenails and collars). I don't think I will have to buy another for many years!!!

Jackie Carter

My Doodle approves!

Received on time, fits great and easy to install. Color is a great match. So far, so good. Durability? Time will tell. It appears to be well constructed.

Donald Fish

Fits my 2018 VW Tiguan perfectly

Very happy with our purchase. Fits perfectly, was easy to install and keeps the leather seats in our brand new vehicle perfectly clean.

Chris Campbell

great cover

This is actually a replacement for my original 4 knines cover which was 4 years old. I used it daily (bringing my pup to work with me) and washed it weekly, so the backing finally started to flake apart and come off. This newer version is easier to put over the headrests, great improvement in the strap and closures. Also the best improvement is the side flaps, the old cover didn't have these. These flaps help to catch the dirt from dogs feet when they are jumping up into the car, instead of it going on the side of the seat.

Diane Breland


This is my 2nd seat cover from 4knines and love them both. The product and service were both fantastic.


Repeat customer VERY satisfied.

We have made several purchases from 4Knines and are VERY satisfied with products (cargo liner, back seat cover, bucket front seat cover...). I volunteer at a shelter and take dogs offsite daily. Always a Pleasure doing business with 4Knines. Highly recommend.

Cristina Jones

Split Rear Dog Seat Cover - Fitted - No Hammock

I had ordered this item from an on-line site and was extremely disappointed when I received the wrong item. I was impressed with the quality of the seat cover and decided to contact 4Knines directly. I placed my order with Maggie and received the Split Rear Dog Seat Cover within three days. The seat cover fits nicely in my new Honda CR-V and as stated by 4Knines, is very easy to install and remove. My 8-month old labradoodle Brodie likes the comfort, and friends agree with him. Great quality item, reasonably priced, and outstanding customer service. Thanks 4Knines.


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