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Is your pet making you a healthier person?

Monday, July 04, 2016

Did you know that owning an animal can make you a healthier person?

Not only do you build up a stronger immune system, studies have shown they can even keep your heart healthier!

The RSPCA and News in Health describe a few reasons for why this may be the case:

You are more likely to exercise

Dog owners are more likely to achieve approximately 150 minutes of physical activity a week than people who don’t own a dog, or do not walk their dog themselves. Plus, older people who regularly walk their dogs have better mobility generally.

Less visits to the doctor for pet owners

A survey has shown that dog and cat owners make fewer visits to the doctors, and children who are brought up with pets are more likely to have a stable immune system.

Healthy hearts

Studies by the NIH found that owning a pet can improve your cardiovascular health. The study, involving 421 heart attack victims, discovered that “those who owned a dog were more likely to still be alive one year later, regardless of the severity of the heart attack” (NIH, 2009). In another study, they also found that out of 240 married couples, those who owned dogs had lower heart rates and blood pressure.

Pets provide emotional support

Pets are great companions and if ever you’re feeling down, a cuddle from your pet will always make you feel better.

Pets have also been linked to helping with depression by reducing the feeling of loneliness and providing a welcome distraction from negative thoughts. Plus, stroking a pet can help to trigger our natural ‘happy chemicals’, serotonin and dopamine.  Dogs are often taken to nursing homes for this very reason.

Pets also teach children compassion and responsibility, as well as improving their social skills.

With all these reasons, we can’t understand why anyone wouldn’t want to own a pet!

Share a photo of your four-legged family member on our Facebook page to show everyone just how grateful you are to have them in your life.


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