They’re always there when you need them, they love you unconditionally and they never ask for money. If that weren’t enough, research has shown that owning a pet can provide health benefits.
Feeling stressed at the end of a long day at work? Coming home to a happy pet can help to relieve some of that tension. Interaction with your pet can also lower your blood pressure, lessen anxiety and even boost your immune system.
Research over the past 25 years has shown that having a dog or cat in a home with young children can make them less likely to develop allergies and asthma. In some cases, the children showed signs of stronger immune system activation. According to an article at WebMD (see link below), young children “who have a greater exposure to dirt and allergens have a stronger immune system.”
As stress relievers, other studies have shown that playing with a dog can raise serotonin and dopamine levels, both of which have calming effects on the system. In turn, this can not only help pet owners lower their blood pressure, but also reduce the risk of strokes and heart attacks. Studies have also shown that heart attack patients who own pets have a better survival rate than non-pet owners.
Having a companion pet generally means more exercise, especially for dog owners. Regular walks and play time gets people off the couch and on their feet. Even low impact exercise is better than none, and who can resist a dog who wants to play?
For more information about the benefits of pet ownership, visit the links below.
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