If you’re an animal lover, you already know that a pet is a great companion. They’ll comfort you in ways your human friends and family can’t. But did you know that pets can improve your health? Yes, they can! From improved heart health to lowered blood pressure and reducing depression, your pet can definitely boost your health. Here are a few ways pets improve your health.
1. Pets improve your mood
Pets will improve your mood naturally. When you’re feeling stressed or anxious, spend a few minutes with your pet instead of reaching for mood enhancers. The physical changes, including a release of mood enhancing hormones like serotonin, will help you to relax and enjoy the moment. Spending time with your pet will also lower your cortisol levels, and thereby remove stress.
2. Pets contribute to lower blood pressure
While your pet cannot replace the roles diet and exercise play in maintaining a healthy blood pressure, it can certainly help you manage it. According to a study, people who spend time with their pets have lower blood pressure and heart rates than people who do not own a pet. Children with hypertension can also benefit from spending a few minutes with a dog or cat.
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3. Cats and dogs improve heart health
One of the long-term benefits of owning a cat or dog is to better heart health. One 20-year study revealed that people who never owned a dog or cat are 40 percent more likely to die of a heart attack than those who had. The bottom line is you can lower the risk of dying from heart disease if you keep your pet close.
More: 10 Most Unique Pets You Can Own
4. Pets help combat depression
Many therapists prescribe pets for depressed patients. While this might seem unorthodox, the rationale is sound. Your pet will love you unconditionally and will listen to what you have to say for hours on end. Pet your dog, cat or rabbit and you’ll soothe anxiety and achieve a calm state in no time. Even the smallest tasks like feeding, grooming and walking, the dog will offer numerous benefits for your mental health.
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5. Pets provide opportunities to get more exercise
People who own dogs, especially large ones, are usually more active than people who don’t. A thirty minute walk will ensure that you both meet the minimum daily exercise requirements. You’ll get even more activity and benefits if you spend a few minutes romping in the backyard after your daily walk.
More: 9 Wonderful Benefits of Owning a Guinea Pig
6. Pet care can help improve symptoms of ADHD
If your child suffers from ADHD, owning a pet will provide opportunities for improvement. For instance, the daily tasks of feeding, cleaning, and general care of the pet will teach your child responsibility and help develop planning skills. Playtime with your pet will help an overactive child burn off excess energy, which will help reduce struggles at bedtime. The unconditional love you can expect from an animal will help boost your child’s self-esteem.
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7. Combat diabetes
Diabetics experience reduced glucose blood levels from time to time, and this could result in severe complications if it’s not detected early. Some dogs are trained to pick up the scent of chemical changes in the body and alert the unsuspecting diabetic. This way, dogs help people with diabetes recognize when their blood glucose is dangerously low.
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8. Seizure dogs
Seizure dogs are specially trained to live and work alongside epileptics. The dog will raise an alert whenever the person goes into seizure. This reduces the chances of injury and could save the person’s life. In some cases, the dog could be trained to detect early signs of the seizure, which will give the person time to get out of harm’s way before the seizure occurs.
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9. Fewer allergies
Introduce your child to a pet during infancy and you’ll reduce his likelihood of developing asthma and allergies. Pet hair and microscopic organisms released in the environment help to build your child’s immune system to fight off infections at an early age. So if you don’t want your child to suffer from a multitude of respiratory complications throughout childhood, get a pet during infancy.
More: 10 Small Pets That Are Great for Kids
10. Help to recuperate faster
Therapy dogs play a vital role in the rehabilitation of many patients after a severe illness or prolonged hospitalization. They provide companionship and support and help to improve the patient’s mood and well-being. Some dogs can even assist people with specific illness-induced disabilities, such as carrying essentials, opening doors, and calling for help.
If you are looking to improve your health, consider owning at least one pet. There are so many wonderful pets that I’m sure you will find the one that will help you and your family stay healthy and have a great mood every day. Do you have pets? How do they help you improve your health?