When it comes to pet ownership, there are a number of proven health benefits for people, including physical, mental and emotional improvements, from enhancing social skills to decreasing a person’s risk of heart attack. Keep reading to find out nine reasons to open your home to a pet cat or dog or a fish tank.
- A Healthier Heart
Your dog may make you less likely to get heart disease. Why? Dog owners walk more and have lower blood pressure than people who do not have dogs. Pets can also be good for you if you already have heart problems. Heart attack survivors and people with serious abnormal heart rhythms who own dogs live longer than people do with the same heart problems that do not have pets, studies show. You still have to watch your weight and exercise. However, having a pet can help you manage your blood pressure. In one study of 240 married couples, pet owners had lower blood pressure and lower heart rates during rest than people who did not own a pet. That held true whether they were at rest or undergoing stress tests. Another study showed that children with hypertension lowered their blood pressure while petting their dog.
- Fewer Strokes among Cat Owners
Researchers are not sure why. Cat owners have fewer strokes than people who do not own cats. It is partly due to the effects owning a pet can have on a person’s circulation. Nevertheless, researchers speculate that cats may have a more calming effect on their owners than other animals do. It may also have something to do with the personality of a cat owner. Cats often become the focus of their owner’s interest, which diverts them from other stressful worries.
3. Social Magnets & you are not Alone anymore!
Pets, especially dogs, can help you connect with other people. One key to a healthy mind is staying engaged with others. In addition, pet owners have a tendency to want to talk with other pet owners. A dog is a conversation waiting to happen. People, especially other people with dogs, will stop and talk with you when they see you walking your pet. Visiting a dog park lets you socialize with other owners while your dog socializes with their dogs. People who use wheelchairs say that other people make eye contact with them more often and ask if they can be of help when they are with their dogs, Beck says.
- Pets are Natural mood Enhancers!
When you have a pet around you, it feels like you have a greater control of your life. People with pets are generally happier, more trusting, and less lonely than those who do not have pets. They also visit the doctor less often for minor problems. It only takes a few minutes with a dog, cat, or watching fish swim to feel less anxious and less stressed. Your body actually goes through physical changes in that time that make a difference in your mood. The level of cortisol, a hormone associated with stress, is lowered. And the production of serotonin, a chemical associated with well-being, is increased. Reducing stress saves your body wear and tear.
- Benefits for Baby’s Immune System
Babies raised in families that have pets may be less likely to get allergies and asthma, some studies show. It has to start early, ideally before a baby is 6 months old. Research studies show that babies with dogs or cats at home have fewer colds and ear infections during their first year than babies living in pet-free homes. Researchers think that exposure to pet dander, as well as the microbes that pets carry into the home from outdoors, could prime babies’ still-developing immune systems and train them early to fend off assaults from common allergens and bugs, such as from animals or other bacteria and viruses (http://healthland.time.com). A research finding in Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology – shows that children exposed early on to animals tend to develop stronger immune systems overall.
- Social Support for Autistic & ADHD Children
Kids tend to relate better to their classmates who have autism when pets are in the classroom a research finding says. Once the children get involved with animals, they view each other more positively and work together better. Kids with ADHD can benefit from working with and keeping a pet. Taking charge of the jobs on a pet care schedule helps a child learn to plan and be responsible. Pets need to play, and playing with a pet is a great way to release excess energy. That means an easier time falling asleep at night. And because the bond between a pet and a child is unconditional love, pets help children with ADHD learn about self-esteem.
- Relief from that Chronic pain
A Mexican hairless dog called a Xolo is known for generating intense body heat. An organization called Paws for Comfort trains Xolos to be service dogs for people with fibromyalgia and other forms of chronic pain that respond to heat. People get relief just by placing their hurting limbs against the dog’s body or lying up next to it. Some dogs have even been trained to ride around wrapped around the neck of a person with chronic neck pain.
- Fitness with Pet
People who own dogs and horses tend to be more physically active and less obese than people who do not. Taking your dog for a walk or riding horse for a daily 30-minute will keep you moving and ensure that you meet the minimum recommendations for healthy physical activity. Running with and chasing dogs and playing with dogs is a natural body exercise for those who do not want to go to gym.
- Arthritis Pain Relievers!
Stretching is very important if you have arthritis. You also know it can be hard to know when you are stretching enough. Cat owners may want to learn from their cat. Watch how many times she stretches every day, and when she does, you do it too. If you can, get down on the floor and go through the same motions. If you cannot get on the floor, sit on a chair and follow along by stretching your upper body. There are many YouTube videos are available to see how cats and dogs have fun while their humans perform yoga and other exercises.
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