Children Health

The Health Benefits of Pets: How Your Pet Can Help You With A Healthier Lifestyle

Your furry friends might just be the cutest prescription for a longer, healthier and happier life

We can all agree that animals naturally just make us feel good and have a way of breaking out huge smiles across our faces. Over the last 20 years, research on human-animal interactions has emerged, proving that people who have pets are happier and healthier. They visit the doctor less often, have more fun, and feel more secure than people who don’t have pets.Cute-Puppies-29-HD-Images-Wallpapers

Mood Boosters

Like any enjoyable activity, playing with a pet can elevate mood-boosting levels of serotonin and dopamine. What’s more, contact with animals can immediately increase levels of oxytocin, the feel-good hormone that lights up the brain’s pleasure centers. When performing a stressful task, people suffer less stress when their pets are with them than when a spouse, family member, or close friend is, according to a 2002 study at State University of New York at Buffalo.  A pet’s calming influence even works better at controlling high blood pressure than the most frequently used prescription drugs.

dog-leash-training-8859519Personal Trainers

Who’s walking whom? Dog owners who regularly walk their dogs are more active and less likely to be overweight than those who don’t own or walk a dog. All pet owners have to exert some physical activity to care for animals, and are often up and active to be near, play, and cuddle with them.

Social Butterflies

Your animal friends can help you make more human friends. Multiple studies have shown that walking with a dog in public leads to more conversations. People assume that pet-owners are kind and approachable. Some of the social support we get from humans we get from animals, too. Animals are an extension of our natural social support system, not a replacement for it.

Pain Killers

Animal-assisted therapy is quickly becoming an accepted means of pain management in hospitals. People who use pet therapy while recovering from surgery need less than half of the pain medication than those who do not use it. Meanwhile, patients and even their vital signs report significant improvements in pain, mood, and other distress measures after a therapy animal visit.

Heart Healers

Pets are more than heartwarming. They also reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and heart attack by lowering systolic blood pressure, plasma cholesterol, and triglyceride levels. And those pet owners who do suffer from heart attacks have higher rates of survival than non-pet owners. A year after suffering a heart attack, regardless of its severity, dog owners are significantly more likely to still be alive than those who do not own dogs. While many of the cardiovascular benefits can be attributed to the mere presence of an animal, the increase in physical activity among pet owners is also linked to improved heart function.caccc69a4e3e028245a0393416d18bf3

Health Monitors

Animals can sense changes we can’t even sense in ourselves. That’s why more and more animals are being trained to monitor their owners’ health. One-third of pets living with people with diabetes, including dogs, cats, rabbits, and even birds exhibit dramatic behavioral changes when their owners’ blood glucose levels drop. And after just three weeks of training, dogs can detect breast and lung cancer up to 97% of the time. Animals can also sense the oncoming of epileptic seizures, and service animals are able to warn their owners to sit or lie down before the onset of the seizure.

Immune Strengtheners

It is known that the more pets children have growing up, the fewer allergies they develop in adulthood. They are also less likely to have eczema, and have higher levels of some immune system chemicals, pointing to a stronger overall immune system. By curbing stress and reducing the levels of harmful chemicals like cortisol and norepinephrine, pets further strengthen immunity throughout life.


Child Therapists

Animal interactions are hugely beneficial to the development of children, especially those with developmental challenges. Children with autism are often able to comfortable interact with pets, which can in turn help their interactions with other children, while the sensory experience of petting an animal can be soothing for children. Taking care of a pet can encourage children, especially those with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder to focus their attention, and teach children than caring is not just “mommy’s job”.

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