The Powerful Health Benefits of Having Pets
Ask any pet owner and they will tell you about the joy that comes with having animal companions. But, did you know that they also provide powerful health benefits that some owners might be unaware of? They are known to help reduce the effects of depression and anxiety to a degree. They are also known to lower stress levels too. As a result, they help improve your heart condition.
Fortunately, more studies are being conducted to learn more about the human-animal bond. For example, we now know that our pets can become acutely aware of our behaviors and emotions, especially dogs. They are able to interpret our tone of voice, body language, and gestures.
Does your furry best friend look you in the eye when you speak to them? It is said that this is how they gauge their human’s feelings. Aside from mental benefits, dogs and cats also encourage physical activity through playtime and walk. Helping those with sedentary lifestyles become fitter.
Sure, health insurance helps, but pets are invaluable when it comes to an individual’s overall well-being.
Health Impact of Pets
It doesn’t matter if you have a dog, cat, or even a fish—you get the same benefits to a varying degree. Surely you know how the simple act of watching a fish swim gracefully in their aquariums can be soothing. It is known to reduce muscle tension and lower pulse rate!
Here are more benefits we can get from having a pet as supported by studies:
- As mentioned earlier, pet owners are less likely to suffer from depression compared to those without pets.
- Pet owners also have lower blood pressure, even under stressful situations when compared to those without pets.
- Having pets can help lower blood pressure, even for those with borderline hypertension. The effects can begin within five months of adopting one.
- Playing with your pet can elevate levels of serotonin and dopamine, the happy hormones which help us calm and relax.
- Pet owners were also found to have lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels compared to those without pets.
- Another startling discovery is that heart attack patients with pets survive longer compared to those without.
- Senior pet owners also make fewer doctor trips compared to those without pets. A good thing for your health insurance!
All of these health benefits stem from our basic need for touch. It’s hard to imagine, but even criminals in prison show long-term changes in their behavior after interacting with animals. As sad as it seems, this is because they are able to feel mutual affection for the first time.
By stroking, hugging or cuddling with our pets, we instantly feel relaxed. They never let us feel lonely and give us companionship, which are key for helping with symptoms of depression. Your pets will give you a reason to get out of bed and start moving. They are great mood-boosters, too!
Pets Encourage Healthy Lifestyle Changes
In order to be healthy physically and mentally, we need to make good lifestyle choices. These decisions have an essential role in easing symptoms of depression, anxiety, stress, different disorders, and PTSD. Having a pet is a smart choice, especially if you want to switch to a healthier lifestyle.
They will encourage you to exercise and you won’t even feel bad about it! Hitting the gym? Why not just take your dog for a walk, a run, or a hike instead? These activities become more rewarding and fun with them tagging along. Add these to your daily routine and your pet (and your health) will surely thank you.
While pets are not a miracle cure for everything that ails you, there’s no arguing the fact that they bring comfort to a degree. From physical to mental health, simply having them around already gives people a purpose to get out bed. So, if you feel ready, considering making this investment. Trust us, the unconditional love you get in return is worth it.