Your pet offers you companionship and love. In return, you have to take care of its physical needs like food, water, exercise, and health. But do you know that your pets can actually improve your health in ways that you would not have thought possible? Of course, it depends on the type of pet you have like a cat or dog that is more communicative and responsive or whether you have other pets like fish or parrots or even exotic pet animals. Here’s how your pets (particularly dogs and cats) improve your health:
Heart problems – pets improve heart health. Studies have shown that those who have heart problems and have pets live longer than those who have heart problems and no pets. Dogs especially require a great deal of exercise and, if you do not have heart problems, you may not get them simply because you are walking them or playing with them and getting more exercise.
Stress reduction – interacting with your pets is a great stress buster. Research shows that being with pets can actually reduce cortisol levels and reduce stress levels. If you have a fish tank, simply gazing at fish can lower blood pressure.
Loneliness – you can talk to your pets and they can sense your mood and respond to you. Pets banish loneliness and also become a talking point and conversation starter when you take them out.
Up your happiness – you are happier with a pet than without one. Feeling of well-being and mental alertness improve when you spend time with your pet.
Children’s behavior – children who are brought up with pets learn to care and share with them and are better behaved for that. Pets also add to their feeling of self-esteem and improve their interactions with their peers and adults.
Allergies – there is a popular belief that pets that shed especially can aggravate allergies. However, research has shown if children are exposed to pets at an early age, they have a stronger immune system and are less likely to suffer from allergies and asthma when older.
Improve mental health – people with pets are less at risk of developing depression since they improve social activity and prevent loneliness.
Better physical fitness levels – if you have a pet you are going to be more physically active not only to take care of it but also because you have taken the pet out for exercise. A pet often creates some extra work for the owner and this also helps improve fitness levels.
Reduce anxiety – pets help reduce anxiety levels in the elderly and in youngsters. They also help build self-confidence.
Pain relief – people who are in chronic or acute pain can actually get pain relief when they pet and stroke their pets because this promotes the release of endorphins in the brain. People with pets take fewer pain killers than those without pets.
Pets can help humans do all this and more. Most people know about guide dogs for the blind, but pets also assist children and adults with ADHD, autism, arthritis, stroke, seizures and Parkinson’s in different ways.
Has your pet helped you in any way? Do share.