Health Benefits of Owning a Pet

Wet Kisses. Constant companionship. A wagging tail. These are just a few of the health benefits of owning a four-legged friend. Fortunately, this is just the beginning. Owning Fido or Fluffy can offer health benefits that you might not have even considered.

 

dog and cat

Stress Reduction

Are your stress levels out of control? Play with a dog or cat! In doing so, you will elevate your levels of serotonin and dopamine, which will help you feel calm and relaxed. A pet can also help decrease loneliness. Pet owners often consider their pet a member of the family and treat their dog or cat accordingly. Even petting a cat or a dog can help one feel more relaxed.

Reduce Your Blood Pressure

If you suffer from high blood pressure, get a pet. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, having a pet around can lower blood pressure. This is especially true for those who are hypertensive. How is this possible? In short, stress reduction lowers blood pressure and anxiety. The unconditional love of a pet can positively impact your health.

Improve Your Heart Health

According to the American Heart Association, owning a pet (especially a dog) is linked to a reduced risk for heart disease. Plus, dogs can encourage exercise. Walking a dog contributes to increased physical activity, which translates into improved cardiovascular health. It’s not a surprise that dog owners are more likely to exercise daily versus those who dlon’t own a pet. One study showed that dog owners walk 30 minutes more a week than before owning a dog.

But don’t leave cats out of the picture. According to the veterinary consultant for GMA, Marty Becker, DVM, you can decrease your risk of a heart attack by 30 percent by owning a feline and reduce your risk of a stroke by 40 percent. All the more reason to rescue a FURever friend.


Don’t underestimate the health benefits of owning a pet. Rover or Rufus can directly impact your health. Not to mention the social benefits – dogs can help their owners meet friendly faces in their neighborhood. People can learn a lot from their pets too: live in the present; don’t worry about tomorrow.

If you don’t own a pet, consider getting one and do your health a favor in the process!

 

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