We all know having a pet is one of life’s biggest joys since they are cute, loveable, and provide unconditional love. But did you know that they can help prevent us from getting sick and recover quickly? Although researchers have a long way to go in exploring all the health benefits pet ownership has to offer, there are some quite surprising benefits most people are not aware of.
Below we’ll help you find out some of the known and less known health benefits of owning a pet.
Active and healthy
Pets are our best friends, and we only wish the best for them, meaning keeping them healthy and active. But, keeping yourself active is also important and perhaps the most popular health benefit of owning a furry friend. They can keep you fit, but it all depends on the breed and how much you’re committed to exercising with them.
Note that for you to be in good shape, your pet also has to be healthy. Don’t forget regular visits to the vet using pet wellness plans, and make sure you provide them with the best pet insurance since they deserve it. But what does pet insurance actually cover? Things like injuries and accidents are inevitable, so make sure you find a plan that covers your pet’s specific health risks depending on their breed.
Good for the heart
Animals boost our cardiovascular health and reduce the risk of a heart attack. The biggest reason for this is that they reduce stress and anxiety, and help you stay active. Some studies have shown that those who own a pet have a lower risk of developing cardiovascular diseases than those who don’t have a furry companion.
Also, pet owners have lower blood pressure, which leads to having lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels. This means that pet owners can expect a longer and healthier life. Of course, leading a healthy and active lifestyle is important but pets contribute to keeping our hearts healthy.
Good for mental health
In recent years, many people have started to suffer from anxiety and depression due to the busy lifestyle of the modern world. To prevent us from feeling overwhelmed and stressed, the healthiest choice would be to adopt a puppy or a kitty. They are the best companions one can ask for, providing us with unconditional love and affection.
Research has proven that owning a pet can help improve mental health, by reducing the stress inducing hormone, cortisol, and not only in the person but in the dog as well. Additionally, your serotonin and oxytocin levels will increase which brings on the feeling of relaxation, happiness, and love. The truth is, it’s really hard to stay in a bad mood if your biggest fan rushes to greet you just as you get home.
Many people may think that allergies occur once they have a furry friend at home, but studies suggest that kids who grow up in a home with a pet, or on a farm, will have less risk of asthma and allergies. In a study conducted by researcher and pediatrician James E. Gern, MD, by testing the blood of babies immediately after birth and 1 year later, he found out that if a dog lives in the house, the infants are less likely to develop pet allergies.
They were also less likely to have eczema, and other common skin conditions and they had higher levels of some immune system chemicals. Also, some dogs can steer you away from allergic food. For example, people who are allergic to peanuts can adopt a peanut-detecting dog to help ease their minds.
Good at detecting cancer
Surprisingly, animals can help prevent and treat cancer. Some animals can indeed identify people suffering from various types of cancer including ovarian, lung, breast, bladder, and prostate through olfactory signals. For example, people who own a pet have a reduced risk of NHL (non-Hodgkin lymphoma) compared to those who have never had a pet.
Researchers suggest that owning a pet alters our immune system and decreases sensitivity to allergens, making us less susceptible to immune system-related cancers. Also, patients who have undergone cancer treatments and are pet owners report improved health, social and psychological well-being, and also decreased depression.
It’s easier to meet people
Pets are more than just companions helping you stay active, but they can be of great help when meeting new people, too. A study has shown that pets can spark different social interactions including neighborhood run-ins, and meetings that can lead to life-long friendships.
Also, they might just help you meet your future significant other. A series of studies have shown that men got more phone numbers from women when having a dog companion beside them. Having a pet is also a great ice-breaker for starting conversations with strangers which can lead to potential partners.
Help in quitting smoking
Did you know that smoking can cause many health issues for your pet, too? Not only it is dangerous for people but can also affect the health of our lovely furry friends. It can affect their lung health through second-hand smoking, and also cause skin issues.
Pets become a part of our family, and many people treat them as their children. This can indicate that if you have to quit smoking for the sake of your companion, you probably will. The bond between owner and pet is so strong that they will do whatever they can to keep them safe, thus giving more motivation for owners to quit smoking.
The list of health benefits of owning a pet goes on, and we can include situations like helping during seizures and help with rehabilitation. There are dogs trained to help people deal with many disorders and disabilities, and there’s no doubt that having them interact with our children will be quite beneficial for their health. They’re great for overall health and happiness, so if you don’t have one, make sure you adopt one as soon as possible.