Thinking about getting a dog, cat, guinea pig, or any other kind of pet? Do it! And if you need any reason beyond the animal’s cuteness to convince someone you live with, try one of these eight health benefits that can come with pet ownership. A potentially longer, healthier life should make up for all those chewed-up shoes, pooper scoopers, and hairballs, right?

  1. More physical activity:

    It probably doesn’t come as a surprise that owning a dog requires a little bit of energy. Dogs have to be walked and exercised, which means dog owners are out there getting more physical activity than people without dogs. Older people are more likely to take regular walks with a dog than they are with a human, according to one study. Another found that 60% of dog owners who took their dogs for regular walks were considered to get regular moderate or vigorous exercise based on federal standards.

  2. Less stress:

    Sure, it can be stressful to have pets when you are afraid one might be sick or you can’t figure out how to get them to stop breaking your blinds, but overall, pets are known to reduce stress. Cortisol is a hormone activated by stress, and studies have found that being around animals can decrease cortisol levels. For this reason, many offices are starting to allow employees to bring dogs to work, and some universities are letting students borrow dogs during stressful times of the year.

  3. Lower blood pressure:

    Can you feel your blood pressure start to rise when stress creeps into your life? Along with medications and lifestyle changes, a pet can help with hypertension. A study of stockbrokers found that having a cat or dog helped lower the spikes in blood pressure that happen when a person is stressed. Another study of hospitalized heart patients found that dogs decreased the patients’ blood pressure by about 10% in the left side of their hearts.

  4. Lower risk of heart attacks:

    Good news, cat owners! Your little furball could be fighting off heart disease for you. Studies have found that people with cats were 40% less likely to have a fatal heart attack. It’s unclear whether the cat’s calming effects make the difference or whether people who choose cats as pets are less at risk for heart disease to begin with. Either way, if you’re a cat person, you’re in luck! (It’s possible that dogs have similar benefits, but the study was only done on cat owners.)

  5. Alleviation of depression:

    You’ve probably realized that your pets can make you smile when you’re just feeling a bit down, but even those of us suffering with diagnosed depression can reap these mood-lifting benefits. The National Institute of Mental Health recognizes animal-assisted therapy as a treatment for depression and other mood disorders because pets can have a positive effect on depression in a number of ways. A pet requires its owner to remain active and can help him or her feel less isolated from society. A pet also remains a trusted companion, even when its owner withdraws from friends and family.

  6. Allergy prevention:

    A seven-year study of almost 500 children found that children who were exposed to dogs and cats as babies were half as likely to have allergies and risk factors for asthma as they grew up than those who had no pets. Infants with more than one pet in the home had the lowest risk of allergies. So even though you might have to be cautious with pets around babies to make sure the pets don’t become aggressive with them, having those pets around could benefit your child in the long run.

  7. Low blood sugar detection:

    If you have diabetes, you know how dangerous a drop in blood sugar can be. While many people have their blood sugar under control, those who often have unexpected changes could get a life-saving health benefit from having a dog. There are specially trained dogs who have been taught to detect drops in blood sugar by smelling. When they smell a change, they can alert the person before it becomes dangerous.

  8. Less risk of stroke:

    This must be payment for the number of times you’ve had to clean out that disgusting litter box: owning a cat cuts a person’s risk of having a stroke by more than a third! Researchers theorize that petting a cat can lower stress or that the type of people who own cats are more stress-free naturally. Whatever the reason, you should probably go adopt a pet just to be on the safe side.

16 responses to “8 Health benefits of having a pet”

  1. Many reliable researches have highlighted the fact that keeping a pet is healthy. I think it’s the best way to keep stress at bay and live a healthy life.

  2. I really appreciate how you mentioned that owning a pet can actually serve as a treatment for depression because they help their owner feel more active and less isolated from society. My neighbor doesn’t leave the house much anymore because she is upset about her recent divorce. It’s great to hear that a visit to a breeding service might be just what she needs to get the furry friend that can cheer her up and keep her company at home.

  3. Thanks for mentioning that a dog is a great treatment for depression and other mood disorders. A friend of mine just got out of a 5-year relationship, and he has been really upset and moody. It would be great to give him a pup to cheer him up.

    • Hi Eli,
      You must be careful giving friends and family a pet. It might not be something which will fit into their lifestyle long term, and we all know that pets are a life long commitment. Maybe there is someone who can visit him with their pet while he is going through this rough time.

  4. Jane Burt says:

    Thank you for explaining how pets can help alleviate depression. My brother has depression and he is wanting to find new ways to help it. I will suggest that he look into getting a dog.

  5. Ivy Pearson says:

    One of the best ways to get rid of stress and anxiety is to get a pet. Regular exercise and a quality diet are also essential to stay physically fit as physical fitness determines the mental health of a person. Information given in this blog helps a person to understand the factors detrimental to live a healthy and happy life. Besides, a person should also take suitable actions to keep a dog healthy. Dogs also need regular exercise as well as a quality diet to live a healthy life.

  6. emma Jones says:

    Decreased blood pressure.
    Decreased cholesterol levels.
    Decreased triglyceride levels.
    Decreased feelings of loneliness.
    Increased opportunities for exercise and outdoor activities.
    Increased opportunities for socialization.

  7. Jerry Walker says:

    I completely agree with the fact that keeping a pet helps a lot to deal with mental illness in a person.
    So, a person suffering from depression and such similar mental disorders should keep a pet in order to get rid of different types of mental and physical illness. Pets are true friends and needs special care from their master to live a healthy and happy life.

  8. […] if you live in a place with a cold climate, then you can use insulating materials. This will protect your dog from the extreme cold as […]

  9. […] benefits. Did you know that cats have been shown to help reduce the risk of having a stroke by more than a third? In fact, even owning a fish can help significantly reduce anxiety, blood pressure, and heart […]

  10. More physical activity: Having a pet is even better than regular exercise for lowering blood pressure and getting the heart pumping. Pet owners typically get high-intensity, burst-type exercise 3 to 4 times per day which can help with stress reduction, improved mood, and more.

  11. Noman Gulzar says:

    I have a beautiful dog. he became ill but i have to care much.

  12. […] all the cat lovers, just know your little furball is helping your heart. Studies show that people with cats are 40% less likely to have a fatal heart […]

  13. […] to the Animal health foundation, dogs can actually make you a healthier person by lowering depression, increasing your activity […]

  14. […] of the most well-known health benefits of owning a pet is that it can reduce stress and anxiety. According to a study published in the International Journal of Workplace Health Management, […]

  15. Luke Smith says:

    It’s great that you mentioned how a pet could help with hypertension along with medications and lifestyle changes. My uncle has hypertension and we are now taking some measures to improve his condition. Having a pet dog would surely help, so I’ll try to look for Yorkie puppies for sale.

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