Lots of people own a pet because of the joy, companionship and unconditional love having that pet brings to them. But owning a pet can bring so much more, and research has overwhelmingly indicated that a furry friend can provide great health benefits to us, as well.
Improves mental health
Having a pet can greatly improve a person’s mental health in a number of ways. It has been widely documented, for instance, that stress levels are lowered when a human being is in contact with an animal. Sitting and stroking a pet or cuddling up to one has beneficial feel-good vibes that can bring stress and anxiety down to a minimum.
Health professionals also cite that those people suffering from depression often find their symptoms significantly improved when they got a pet.
It’s been largely publicised that owning a pet can help boost a person’s immunity. There may be a number of factors working towards this one, but it seems that the earlier in life that you’re exposed to animals, the greater your immunity levels.
Research has also shown that exposure to animals and pets can prevent allergies, as your immune system has been built up to deal with allergens. It’s an interesting theory, and it makes for a very good argument for getting a pet when you have small children.
Reduces cardiovascular problems
Doctors and researchers have touted for a long time now that pets are of great benefit to those with cardiovascular problems. Not only can they help people recover quicker from, for example, heart disease or stroke, but they can significantly help reduce the chances of these happening in the first place.
Blood pressure is also said to be reduced while you’re around them. It’s not clear the reasoning behind these, but it’s likely that the reduced stress factors play a big role in improving a person’s health.
Lower cholesterol levels
People who own pets are thought to have lower cholesterol levels than those who don’t. Although this is a generalisation, and it doesn’t mean that pet owners can go out and eat what ever fatty food takes their fancy because they own a pooch, what it does likely indicate is that pet owners are likely to lead healthier lifestyles in general.
It makes sense when you think about it. If you own a dog, then it’ll need walking a couple of times per day, and walking is not only great exercise for your hound, but for you as well.
Studies have indicated that pet owners are better able to deal with chronic pain such as arthritis or migraine problems, and are less reliant on medication, compared to those who don’t own a pet. This is also true for those who have had surgery or are recovering from illness. The reasoning behind this may be that owning a pet is less likely to cause anxiety and stress, which can help alleviate pain symptoms.
So, if you’ve been pondering about getting a pet, then there are certainly a good few reasons why you might want to go ahead and get one. Aside from the social aspect that having a pet brings, there are a multitude of health benefits, as well.