Health benefits of pet ownership

People that have pets will tell you that they add a lot of joy and happiness to their lives. Whether they’re cats, dogs, hamsters, or something unconventional, pets provide unconditional love and companionship to the humans who care for them.

Did you know that pet ownership comes with health benefits? Studies have shown that having a pet can benefit everything from your heart to your head.

Pets and your health 

Physical activity – Having animals at home can increase fitness levels. Owning a dog would be more physical than a hamster. Dogs require a little bit of energy. They have to be walked and exercised, which means dog owners are out there walking too. Older people are more likely to take regular walks while owning a dog making dogs a great choice to get more physical activity no matter your age. 

Less stress and increased oxytocin – Pets are known to reduce stress. Cortisol is a hormone activated by stress, studies have found that just being around animals and simply petting a dog can decrease cortisol levels while the social interaction between people and animals (dogs) actually increases levels of the feel-good hormone oxytocin (the same hormone that bonds mothers to babies).

Lower blood pressure – When stress creeps in, can you feel your blood pressure start to rise? Medications, lifestyle changes, and a pet can help with reducing high blood pressure (hypertension). A number of studies found that having a cat or dog helped lower the spikes in blood pressure that happen when a person is stressed out.

Lower your risk of heart attack – Studies have found that people with cats were 40% less likely to have a fatal heart attack. It’s possible that dogs have simal benefits, but the study was only done on cat owners.

Get relief from depression – When you are depressed, pets can offer comfort, companionship, and love. If depression makes you feel lonely, pets can break the cycle.

Allergy Prevention Pets prevent allergies, the more cats or dogs you live with as an infant, the lower your chance of developing asthma, hay fever, or eczema. Some studies have found that having a pet early in life protects from allergies later in childhood.

Low blood-sugar detection – Diabetic service dogs, also called diabetic alert dogs or DADs, are trained to let you know when your blood sugar has spiked too high or dropped too low. This way, you can take action before the problem turns into a medical emergency.

Less risk of stroke – Owning a Dog or cat cuts a person’s risk of having a stroke by more than a third! Researchers theorize that petting an animal can lower stress or that the type of people who own animals are more stress-free naturally. 

Remember pets have great health benefits!

Some of the Health Benefits Include:

  • Decreased blood pressure.
  • Decreased cholesterol levels.
  • Decreased triglyceride levels.
  • Decreased Stress
  • Decreased feelings of loneliness.
  • Increased opportunities for exercise and outdoor activities.
  • Increased opportunities for socialization.
  • Increased happiness

Whatever the reason, you should probably go adopt a pet just to be on the safe side.

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