Everyone who has ever owned a pet knows the joy and companionship they provide. There is a growing body of research that indicates our furry friends can contribute to our health and well being . Pets can enhance mood, alleviate depression and anxiety, reduce stress and even encourage physical fitness. There are many benefits to owning a pet. Here are a few.
Improved Mood and Alleviating Depression/Anxiety:
Just the simple act of petting a cat, dog or any furry creature has been found to alleviate depression and anxiety. Pets can help improve mild to moderate depression just by being there. The stress of the day can evaporate for a little while as soon as Fido greets you bursting with happiness and unconditional love. Aquariums are great options for those who can’t have a furry critter as a pet. Studies with Alzheimer’s patients have resulted in lowered anxiety just from looking at an aquarium for a few minutes.
Owning a pet can result in lower blood pressure, triglycerides and cholesterol. One study conducted in Australia showed that men who own pets have less signs of heart disease. As mentioned earlier, pets help reduce anxiety which is essentially stress. Lower stress levels help to keep blood pressure under control. Dog owners can especially benefit since they are more likely to exercise with their dog which ultimately enhances heart health.
Lower Incidence of Allergies:
Contrary to popular belief, children raised around furry pets or farm animals have a lower chance of developing allergies and asthma. One study showed that infants with a dog in the home had less occurrences of allergies.
Physical Fitness for Dog Owners:
Dog owners are more likely to get the minimum recommended 150 minutes of exercise every week. It’s easy to get that amount of exercise in when the dog needs to be walked every day. Even playing fetch or tug of war with Fido increases physical fitness levels .
Pets just simply add fun and enjoyment to our lives. Be it a cat, dog, guinea pig, hamster or fish, the right pet is out there for everyone.