Your Pet Can Keep You Healthy

If you own a pet, you probably love the moment when you get home and your pet is waiting to greet you with a lick, jump or a tail-wag. Your day is brightened and you look forward to that greeting everyday. This is just one of the many reasons to love being a pet owner, but did you know that your pet also brings positive effects to your health? Here are just some of the benefits to being a pet owner:

  • They keep you physically active. Most dogs love getting out and going for walks. Some dogs beg to be taken out everyday, encouraging you to take a daily walk.

  • They encourage social interaction. Pets are great conversation starters. People love meeting pets while at the park or walking down the street. “Are you a cat person or a dog person?” This is a popular question when getting to know someone. This interaction can lead to new friends or social groups.

  • They improve your mental well-being. According to a study at the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami, a group of grandparents showed the true effects of being a pet owner. In the study, they received massages for a month, then massaged pets for a month. After receiving massages, there were health improvements. They saw a decrease in anxiety, depression and stress hormone levels, less doctor visits, drank less coffee, and saw an improvement in self-esteem. These were all good signs on their own. Even more impressive was the fact that the effects were greater after their month of massaging pets than the month of receiving massages.

  • They help boost your immune system. Petting dogs produces a rise in immunoglobulin A, an antibody that improves the immune system. Oxytocin levels also rise, a hormone that promotes love and trust. Blood pressure and heart rate are lowered by petting animals.

 

Pets can provide more than just being a friend at home – they can help your mental and physical state. Next time you pet your dog or cat, they might be improving your well-being.

 

Source: http://www.victoriaadvocate.com/news/2014/feb/24/sue_furman_022514_233617/?features

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