Animals can improve our lives in many ways, but not everybody is aware of the direct health benefits owning pets brings to us
Animals make people feel good. They can be interesting, funny, gentle, protective and very loyal friends. But the companionship of an animal can be much more than that, if you’re considering health help.
Studies shown that even in stressful periods, pets can be a relief for people with heart conditions, having an overall lower risk of dying from cardiac disease. Petting your dog can help you lower your blood pressure, keeping heart rates in check. It seems that people owning cats have a lower stroke risk that people who don’t, because of the calming effect cats are famous for.
People who own dogs tend to be more physically active than people who don’t. Daily dog walks are also beneficial for the owner: stronger joints, bones and muscles, better cardio activity from just walking along with your friend. You can both exercise and have tons of fun with your furry companion. Not to mention the higher interaction rates that keep dog owners away from social isolation.
Animal Assisted Therapies have gained a lot of popularity during last years and became a frequent therapy choice in hospitals and nursing homes. Animal interaction reduces anxiety and improves patients’ mood. Cats, dogs, horses and dolphins have alleviated people’s sufferings in animal assisted programs all over the world. Children suffering from ADHD, autism, Down syndrome and different forms of mental illness acquire better reflexes, motric capacities, improved self-esteem, better interaction capacities simply through animal assisted therapy. Blind people or people with Parkinson’s disease manage to be more independent with a companion dog specially trained to help them fulfill daily needs. Some mental health therapists also use a dog during therapy to make the patients feel more comfortable.
Some dogs are trained to “smell” seizures in people with epilepsy or diabetes, before the seizure or low insulin levels occur, giving the person time to help himself and even save his life.
Children that have grown up in a home with animals are less likely to develop allergies and asthma later in life. They also have a better immune system compared to kids that live in animal-free houses.
But perhaps the best of it all is that pet ownership can lower anxiety and stress levels, increase your serotonin levels and make you happier. Pets can be natural mood enhancers for everyone that needs a boost in their daily morale. Therapists often prescribe a pet to fight depression. Unconditional pet love equals overall better quality of life for everybody.