Pets. There’s just something about them that makes us feel
good! So good, in fact, that pet owners visit their doctor less often than
While this is true, few people know the reasons why, until
Healthier Heart and Lower Blood Pressure
Pet ownership, especially dog ownership, is associated with
a lower risk of heart disease. Doctors think this is due to the feelings of
peace and contentment that come from spending time with a pet, especially after
a long stressful day.
Plus, it’s also thought that dog owners are likelier to get
the recommended 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week than non-dog owners.
A Welcome Distraction from Pain
Pets might help manage chronic disease by reducing pain,
anxiety and agitation. Studies have shown that a visit from a therapy dog can
energize patients, making them more responsive and active.
Even better, research shows that people who undergo “pet
therapy” when recovering from surgery need less pain medication! The same
applies to people suffering from fibromyalgia.
Prevents Allergies in Children
Growing up with a cat or a dog from birth greatly reduces
the risk of eczema and asthma in children. Pets are generally “dirtier” than people
so repeated exposure to their “dirt” keeps allergies and autoimmune diseases at
Pet owners enjoy a special bond and an emotional attachment
to their animals. In fact, most pets are considered family.
This bond helps pet owners feel less lonely and creates more
opportunities for social interactions. How? By getting people out of their
homes and into public spaces, creating opportunities for social connection and
conversation! After all, it’s so
much easier having a conversation with a stranger when you share a love for
Pets depend on their owners for their physical and emotional needs. This added responsibility can provide the motivation to get out of bed in the morning, improves self-worth and keeps depression at bay. It’s harder to focus on negative thoughts when you have a pet that appreciates and loves you unconditionally.
These health benefits may not seem life-changing individually, but when combined, they add up to a healthier and happier you. So, if you’ve never given serious thought to pet ownership, now might be a great time to consider it.
Of course, this only applies if you don’t have serious pet allergies or phobias. Otherwise, it’d be foolish to make yourself sick while pursuing the health benefits of pet ownership.
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