Can My Pet improve My Health?


5 Ways My Pet Can Improve My Health

Have you ever noticed that you feel better when you're around your pet? It's true, Spending quality time with a dog, cat or other animal can have a positive impact on your mood and your health.

“We found that pet owners, on average, were better off than non-owners, especially when they have a higher-quality relationship with their pets," - Pet Researcher Allen R. McConnell

What makes a meaningful relationship varies from person to person. For some active people, that includes playing ball or Frisbee in the park. For others who can’t get outside, just petting your dog can help you feel connected.

Ease Depression

No one loves you more unconditionally than your pet. It could even help you deal with and recover from depression. Your pet will listen to you talk for as long as you want to talk. You’ll probably feel calmer when you pet a cat or dog. And taking care of an animal -- walk with it, groom it, play with it -- takes you out of yourself and helps you feel better about the way you spend your time.

Fewer Allergies, Stronger Immunity

When children grow up in a home with a dog or cat they are less likely to develop allergies. The same is true for kids who live on a farm with large animals. Higher levels of certain immune system chemicals show a stronger immune system, which will help keep them healthy as they get older.

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Mood Boost

It only takes a few minutes with a dog or cat or watching fish swim to feel calmer and less stressed. Your body actually goes through physical changes in that time that make a difference in your mood. The level of cortisol, a stress hormone, lowers. And serotonin, a feel-good chemical your body makes, rises.

Better Blood Pressure

You still have to watch your weight and exercise. But having a pet can help you manage your blood pressure. In one study of 240 married couples, pet owners had lower blood pressure and lower heart rates during rest than people who didn’t have a pet. Another study showed that when children with high blood pressure petted their dog, their numbers improved.

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Lower Cholesterol

You watch what you eat and work out. If you also have a pet, there could be a cholesterol perk. People who have pets tend to have better levels of cholesterol and triglycerides, compared to people who don’t. The reason for that isn’t clear. Part of it could be the more active lifestyle that comes with having pets.