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Pets May Help You Lead a Healthier Life

People often buy or adopt pets for companionship, or to provide a home for them. But there are also many health benefits to owning a pet.

 Dog plays with chewtoy, health benefits of owning a pet

Purpose

Caring for a pet can give you purpose. Your pet relies on you for attention, food, exercise, grooming, and more. When you take care of your pet, you can feel accomplished and gratified by his/her positive responses. 

Exercise

It's tough to resist those eyes—owning a dog can be a great motivator to get out and walk, jog, or play. 

Friendship

While you are taking your dog on a walk, you may run into another dog parent walking their dog. Pets give you something unique to talk about to other people and a way to bond with other pet owners.

Companionship

Not only are they a companion in general, animals can also sense when you’re down and offer their support by staying by your side.

Unconditional love

You can be yourself around your pet. You can also talk about anything you want and they won’t laugh at you. Pets are great for unconditional love. They love you regardless of your mood, age, or status.

Tranquility

It is widely known that pets can have a calming effect. Simply playing with or petting your pet can help you relax.

In fact, dogs are often recommended for kids with special needs because a dog’s presence helps reduce the amounts of cortisol, a stress-response hormone. Studies have also shown that children who participate in animal-assisted therapy had lower blood pressure and heart rates while petting and playing with dogs.

In addition, studies have shown that Alzheimer’s patients have less anxious outbursts when they have a pet.

Improved mood

When your dog or cat or bird does funny or cute things that make you smile, the dopamine and serotonin levels in your brain rise, making you feel happy.

Heart health

Several studies have shown that heart attack patients who are pet owners survive longer than those who don’t have pets. In addition, researchers say male pet owners have lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels—meaning they are less likely to have heart disease—than non-pet owners.

Related: 9 Gifts That Encourage a Healthy Lifestyle

Owning a pet is a big commitment, but not one without some wonderful rewards. Now you may be interested in getting a pet, or you may understand why you enjoy having a pet so much!

Interested in other awesome content? Be sure to check out other Healthy Living articles.

 

SelectHealth may link to other websites for your convenience. SelectHealth does not expressly or implicitly recommend or endorse the views, opinions, specific services, or products referenced at other websites linked to the SelectHealth site, unless explicitly stated.

The content presented here is for your information only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, and it should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease. Please consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns.

 

 

 

Sources:

https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/a-to-z/p/pets-and-mental-health http://abcnews.go.com/Health/story?id=116852&page=1 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/danielle-hark/pet-ownership-health_b_3187960.html https://www.cdc.gov/healthypets/index.html https://www.brainbalancecenters.com/blog/2014/09/benefits-pet-ownership-children-special needs/ http://www.webmd.com/hypertension-high-blood-pressure/features/health-benefits-of-pets#2






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Post Author

Tiffany Harston