We all know the old saying, “A dog is man’s best friend,” and according to research, this is true in more ways than one.
Not only do dogs make loyal and loving companions, but they also help you live longer and can lower your risk of heart disease.
According to the American Heart Association, having a dog can help you get more exercise. A study of 5,300 Japanese subjects found that dog owners were 54 percent more likely to get the recommended amount of daily physical activity than non-dog owners. Taking your dog on walks isn’t only good for her, but it keeps you active and heart-healthy, as this exercise may be one reason pet owners have lower cholesterol and blood pressure levels.
Those with pets who have already suffered from heart attacks also tend to have a shorter recovery time than their non-pet owning counterparts.
Cats also come with a host of health perks. For example, a recent study revealed that having a cat prevents babies with the asthma gene from suffering from the disease by essentially deactivating the gene itself. Exposure to both cats and dogs also help to boost immunity and can even prevent allergies in children.
Cats’ purrs have been found to provide a variety of benefits, too! Vibrating between 20-140 Hz, purrs alleviate stress and depression, and can even help heal wounds faster, fight infection, reduce dyspnea (difficulty breathing), and promote bone growth.
Having a pet has been found to lower cortisol, the stress hormone, and raise oxytocin, the love hormone, thus relieving anxiety and depression and bringing about calm, peace, and trust. The companionship pets provide reduces loneliness, too, and offers opportunity for increased sociability, often with other pet owners.
Pet therapy is on the rise in places such as nursing homes, hospitals, and even jails. Studies have shown that patients suffering from dementia feel less anxious and frustrated with the aid of a pet companion, and Alzheimers patients have an easier time with memory. Jails in the United States are bringing shelter cats and dogs into their facilities to provide therapy for inmates, as well as socialization for the animals.
There are so many reasons to have an animal around the house! From the health benefits they provide, to companionship and love, animals bring boundless positivity into our lives every single day. Shelters all across the world are full of sweet pups and kitties who need loving homes of their own, and adding a pet to your family is a wonderful way to stay healthy and happy.