Pets can make for wonderful companions and provide many physical, emotional, and mental benefits; perhaps the most obvious of which is love and compassion. But what else is there? What are the health benefits of having a pet at home? How can pets improve your health? Here are some ways.
The Health Benefits of Having a Pet
Pets ward off different sicknesses
A long time ago, pets were believed to contribute to your child’s allergic reactions.
But times have changed and these days, experts suggest that growing up with a furry animal can actually help you become more immune to allergies and asthma attacks. They can even help make your immune system stronger.
In addition, having pets at home can make children less likely to be inflicted with eczema, an allergic skin condition that causes itching and red patches on the skin.
Pets provide companionship
Especially for older people or those who live without a family member, pets provide companionship. Walking your dog can even give you the exercise that you need and for older people, it can help prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
Pets can help you with your mental state
If you are feeling lonely or depressed and your dog or your cat snuggles up to you, you’d immediately feel energized.
That is because pets can provide unconditional love and companionship. In addition, knowing that you have to care for your pet gives you a sense of purpose and routine, which makes you realize that life is worth living after all.
Pets give you a sense of peace
Dogs and cats can actually calm your fears and make you feel that everything is going to be alright.
Just cozying up to you, a lick on the cheek, snuggling, a soft stare, or even just lying on your lap gives you the comfort and ease that you need, especially when you are in a troubling situation. There have also been studies with therapy dogs that suggest even brief interactions with them can ease away your burden and fear.
Pets are good for the heart
One of the benefits of having a pet is that they improve your cardiovascular system. There have been studies that say that heart attack patients who own pets have survived longer as compared to those without. Researchers have also found out that those who own cats had a lower risk of dying of heart attack, helping people relax during stressful situations.
Pets help you manage your stress
Anyone who has had a pet has experienced coming home after a long day at work and being greeted by your pooch, and in the process, washing away all your stress and anxieties. In fact, studies have shown that participants who own pets have an increased level of the happy hormone, and their heart rate is lower as compared with people who don’t own pets.
Pets keep your brain sharp
Older people who have trouble remembering names or birthdays or have trouble figuring out where they put their car keys can benefit from the love and companionship of a dog or a cat. Recent research says that pets can help those in their golden years remember details, can help improve their skills to pay more attention, and even help them use their past experiences to figure out how to decide on important matters.
Pets can encourage you to exercise more
Of course, your pup needs to walk – but that gait is good for your health, too. Even if you are feeling lethargic and you don’t feel like it, walking your dog around your neighborhood can help you stretch those muscles and be more active. Plus during downtime, while having a picnic at the park, you can run around with your dog or your cat. You can play frisbee with your pooch too. Just go out there and move- whatever it takes.
Pets can help you ease your pain
The health benefits of having a pet don’t just stop with walking or playing around with them. They also help you from keeping off pain medications too. Studies have shown that people who spend more time with their pets and have been nursing a joint pain use fewer pain medications than those who are not involved with animal therapy.
Pets can help you ward off cancer
A study in the British Medical Journal says that pets are more likely to sniff out early-stage bowel cancer with shocking accuracy. Experts also add that dogs can also sniff out other forms of cancer too.
Keep in mind that owning a pet is a huge responsibility. Aside from providing him with basic necessities such as food, water, and shelter, you have to make frequent trips to the vet and make sure that your pet gets enough exercise.
In spite of all of these responsibilities, however, nothing can ever outweigh how much your pet can contribute to your overall health.
Not only do they make life easier and smoother for you, but they also bring joy and sunshine to your life, and help you improve your mental and emotional health.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.