Five Surprising Health Benefits of Owning a Pet

Sep 23, 2016 by

Five Surprising Health Benefits of Owning a Pet

With almost no effort at all, pets manage to bring joy, warmth and happiness into our lives. When you’re sad, they make us laugh. When we’re sick, they comfort us. People are naturally drawn to companionship and they are always there for us no matter what. Science agrees and gives us several benefits that come from our furry friends.

Here are Five Surprising Health Benefits of Owning a Pet

1. Improved Heart Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States for both women and men. To increase your odds of enjoying a long, fulfilling life, doing everything in your power to improve your heart health is crucial. Research suggests the simple act of owning a pet can help you reap heart health benefits. Pet owners who’ve suffered a heart attack survive longer than those who don’t own pets. Also, a correlation exists between male pet owners and lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Having high triglyceride and cholesterol levels are risk factors for developing heart disease.

2. Fewer, Annoying Allergies in Children

Do you suffer from annoying, seasonal allergies? Perhaps, you’re worried your young kids will develop the bothersome symptoms you deal with when they’re older. Surprisingly, a number of studies performed by James E. Gern, a pediatrician at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, show keeping a pet in your home can decrease a child’s probability of developing allergies by an astounding 33 percent.

3. Less Loneliness

About 1 in 3 young adults feel lonely. Owning a furry friend can decrease feelings of loneliness. Loneliness is a contributing factor to depression. Caring for a pet can also give you a sense of purpose in life. By watering, feeding, exercising, and spending time with your pet, you’ll always feel needed.

How might pets help with loneliness? The Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) and Mars Petcare convened a Summit on Social Isolation and Companion Animals to address that particular question.

“There is increasing evidence pets can play an important role in helping people feel less lonely and more socially connected,” says HABRI’s executive director, Steven Feldman. “Together, with the leadership of Mars Petcare and a group of other experts and stakeholders, HABRI will work to address the crisis of loneliness in our society with the power of the human-animal bond.”

4. More Moving

Regular exercise is a vital component of both your mental and physical health. When you break a sweat, your brain releases endorphins. These chemicals contain mood enhancing properties. Exercising can also help people:

  • Decrease blood pressure levels
  • Lower blood sugar levels
  • Decrease triglyceride levels
  • Lose weight
  • Improve circulation

Owning a pet increases your opportunities for invigorating exercise and fun, outdoor activities. Walking your pet might help you lose weight and keep it off for life.

5. Social Stimulation

Research implies owning a pet leads to increased social interactions with neighbors, fellow pet owners, and other people you meet. Having a full social calendar is associated with living a longer, happier life.

While owning a furry friend can benefit your health, caring for your pet’s health is vital too. The veterinarians and staff at Sunset Veterinary Clinic are very happy to be a part of and support your healthy lives together.

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