How Owning a Pet Makes You Healthier from How Owning a Pet Makes You Healthier

How Owning a Pet Makes You Healthier

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How Owning a Pet Makes You Healthier

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Even on a lousy day, it’s almost impossible not to smile at the sight of a cute cat or happy dog wagging its tail. It has been long shown that pets make you healthier, they improve your mood, help your heart and even better your social life.

Whether it is a dog, cat, gold fish or hermit crab, owning a pet at a young age has its benefits. Interacting with them helps children socially, emotionally and cognitively.

*Related: 15 Best Cities for Dogs (And Their Owners)

Owning a pet also benefits adults; they are great exercise motivation, help decrease blood pressure and may even reduce the risk for stroke.

Better social life

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Have you ever noticed, while your walking your dog how many people come up to pet it? Owning a pet is a great conversation starter, they literally draw people to you.

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It’s a great way to connect with other people and meet pet lovers with the same interests as you.

Ward off allergies

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While many people believe pets causes allergies, the truth is that owning a pet does not make you more susceptible to allergies. Studies actually suggest that having a cat or dog at home during the first year of life may help prevent pet allergies later on.

Related: The Most Allergy Friendly Pets

There are also tons of allergy friendly pets – poodles, labradoodles and Siberians, just to name a few.

Exercise motivation

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Similarly to humans, pets need to stay active to avoid becoming overweight or obese.

Related: 6 Mental Health Benefits of Exercise

We want to keep our pets fit and healthy; therefore, we end up maintaining our health and keeping ourselves in shape as well.

Good for your heart

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Owning a pet has shown to help decrease blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

Related: 10 Surprising Things You Never Knew About Your Heart

According to the American Heart Association, data has shown that “people with pets and cardiovascular disease were more likely to survive heart attacks.” While a study also shows that blood pressure goes down when a person pets a dog.

 

Provide companionship

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Pets are loyal, they are nonjudgmental, they make the best of friends, and in some cases they even give you a sense of belonging.

Related: 5 Secrets for Longevity

Pets provide you with unconditional love. Can you think of anything better than that? They are always there to listen and you will never feel alone.

 

Reduced risk for depression

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If you are feeling down, you may want to consider getting a pet. Studies have shown that animals improve mood and reduce tension.

Related: The Difference Between Being Sad and Depressed

They can also help treat some people with mild to moderate depression. Playing with a cat or dog has also been shown to help elevate levels of serotonin and dopamine.

 

Lowers blood pressure

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The NCIBI researched human-dog interactions. They found that subject’s heart rates were lower while talking or touching the dog.

Related: 7 Ways to Naturally Lower Your Blood Pressure

Also, owners who walk more with their pets have lower blood pressure than non-pet owners.

Children have increased self-esteem

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Growing up with a pet can be great for a child’s health and development. Research has shown that children who interact with pets have higher self-confidence and self-esteem.

Related: The Absolute Cutest Celebrity Pets

It helps them develop a sense of compassion and encourages them to be more corporative.

Prevents stroke

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Research has shown that owning a cat can reduce your risk for stroke. According to a study by Minnesota University, cat owners could cut their risk of stroke by 1/3.

Related: 11 Foods That Improve Your Heart Health

WebMD explains that a study has shown that compared with car owners, people who never owned a pet cat were 40 percent more likely to die of a heart attack – over the 20 year study period. They were also 30 percent more likely to die of stroke and heart failure.

Provides structure to your day

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Owning a pet provides structure to your day. You have to feed it, walk it, play with it and take care of its health.

Related: Feeling Overwhelmed? Here are 5 Ways to Clear Your Mind

Regardless to whatever mood you are in – happy, sad, stressed, you still have to get up and take care of your pet. It forces you to stay on a specific schedule and also improves your organization.

 

Provides safety

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Anything can happen. Your house may be getting broken into or there may be a fire or someone may be hurt.

Related: How to Protect Your Pets From a Heatstroke This Summer

Pets have instincts; they are loyal to their owners, they will protect them and will warn them in a dangerous situation or if any harm may be coming their way.

 

Help kids grow stronger

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Childhood is not always easy, and having a pet around will provide your child with companionship for when times get rough.

Related: The Most Active Dog Breeds

A study has shown that children with early contact with dogs and cats are also healthier. “Researchers found that even though respiratory infections and infectious symptoms are frequent during the first year of life, children with early dog contact seem to have fewer respiratory infectious symptoms and diseases especially ear infections.”

Reduces stress

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Just interacting with your pet can have a significant impact on your stress levels.

Related: 7 Natural Remedies for Stress and Anxiety

According to research, interacting with an animal has been shown to reduce the behavioral, cardiovascular and psychological indicators of stress. For instance, research explains that “watching fish in an aquarium proved as effective as hypnosis in reducing anxiety in dental surgery patients.”

 

Great for children with ADD and ADHD

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Attention deficit disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder affect a lot of children and adults. Owning a dog can actually help individuals suffering with this disorder.

Related: 6 Tips to Improve Your Concentration

It requires them to stay organized, plan ahead and keep a routine. While also proving them with a fun way to stay active and relieve the restless feelings associated with ADD and ADHD.

Good “medicine” for the elderly

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Alzheimer’s communities have been accumulating dogs; it has been said that they forge a unique connection with people suffering from Alzheimer’s and dementia.

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They provide them with companionship and may help reduce anxiety and depression.