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11 Health Benefits to Owning a Pet

There are many reasons why people have pets.  Most people have a furry friend greet you when you come home from a hard day of work.  Maybe you need a friend when going outdoors.  Some have their pets help them with their medical needs.  Whatever it may be there are many health benefits for owning a pet.

Mental Health

Cat On Lap

The major health benefit for having a pet is that they can reduce stress.  A cat purring on your lap can decrease your stress and anxiety faster than most advertised methods.

They can also help people suffering from depression.  Playing with your dog or cat can help you elevate your levels of serotonin and dopamine, which both trigger your sense of calm and relaxation.

Companionship

Pet Companionship

This is probably the number one reason why people get pets.  Having someone home that is always happy to see you and loves you unconditionally.

This helps you forget your stressful day and can build self-confidence. This can also reduce anxiety and relieve loneliness. Not to mention that they can provide laughter as pets do some weird things.

Exercise

Pet Helps Lose Weight

Your pet, mostly dog owners, can help you exercise more.  Just like you, your dog needs exercise.  Taking them to the park or on a walk, playing fetch, or going for a hike is a great way to not only get them to exercise but also yourself.  Which can prevent many health problems for you and your pet like diabetes and obesity.

Lose Weight

Pet Exercise

With giving your pet some exercise, and as noted above giving yourself some exercise.  The increase of exercise that your pet is encouraging you to take can help you stay fit and help you lose weight.

Your pet can also become heavy without a proper diet and exercise.  Pet obesity is a major health concern for your pet’s health.  When you are losing your weight, your pet is losing some of theirs.

Meet People

Pets Meet Friends

Having a pet gives you something in common with other people. Everyone loves animals and having a pet gives people an excuse to engage in conversation.  Most dog owners stop and talk to each other, usually to compliant each other’s dog.

Internal Health

Increase Happiness

Stress and anxiety can cause people to have high blood pressure which can lead to other major health concerns.  By petting your pet for a few minutes a day can help you lower your blood pressure and help you stay calmer during a stressful time.

Pet owners have also helped people lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels, which are indicators of heart disease.  Recently studies have shown that people that have adopted a dog have significantly reduced their cholesterol in a matter of five months.

Fewer Doctor Appointments

Pets For Elderly

People in the age bracket of 65 and over that own a pet have fewer doctor visits that people that do not.  This is because pets can help with human interaction that can ease the feelings of loneliness and boost happiness.

Diabetes Alert

Dog Diabetes Alert

Dogs can be trained to warn diabetics when their blood sugar levels shift.  This prevents potentially dangerous complications of uncontrolled glucose levels. Their powerful scents can distinguish alterations in the human body.  These dogs are paired with individuals that have been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes or severe type 2 diabetes.

Service Dog (PTSD)

PTSD Service Dog

For individuals that suffer from posttraumatic stress disorder or PTSD, can get help by having a service dog.  These dogs will help give them emotional support and be a great companion.  By having a dog this promotes good health habits with exercise and spending time outdoors.  Research has also shown that people that interact with their pets can release various neurotransmitters to the brain to help release cortisol to relieve stress.

Lower Children Allergies

Pet Children Allergies

Usually, you would think that having a pet around the house would increase children allergies. But a study by James E. Gern from the University of Wisconsin-Madison has shown that having a pet can actually lower your children risk of allergies by 33%.  This can also help them lower their chances of developing asthma.

Learning Disorders

Leaning Disorder Service Dog

Children that have a learning disorder such as autism have been able to interact with pets easier than with people.  By playing with the animal it helps the child stay alert and attentive through the day.

Children that have pets are given the opportunity to learn responsibility, compassion, and empathy that comes with owning a pet.  This will help them develop a positive self-image and will build better relationships with people.

It’s Good For Your Health

For whatever your reason is for having a pet, remember that it has many health benefits.

Read more on Pet Health.