Health Benefits of Owning a Pet

If you have ever owned a pet, you already know how affectionate and full of life they can be. Not only do they bring much joy into our lives, but there have also been a number of studies that show the many health benefits, including improvements in physical, mental and emotional health, that owning pets can bring.

It has been suggested that having pets in the house, will increase the chances of children experiencing allergies, however, this is not the case. Many studies have suggested that children growing up in a home with a pet, will lessen their risk of allergies and asthma. Studies show that children exposed early on in their lives develop stronger immune systems overall.

Heart related studies have shown that pet owners display a decrease in blood pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride levels, which can minimize the risk of a heart attack. Research also shows that individuals who have already experienced a heart attack, have better recovery rates if they own a dog or cat. It is thought that pets help reduce their owners’ overall stress levels.

Pet owners are less likely to suffer from depression than those without pets. Studies have shown when playing with a dog or a cat, serotonin and dopamine levels are elevated, which helps to calm and relax.

Owning a pet can also help motivate people to exercise, helping to reduce obesity and maintain a healthy weight. Having a pet can increase social integration, by attending dog training classes, visiting the vet, walking in the park and around beaches, provides opportunities to meet and talk to other people. Studies have shown that people walking a dog have more positive encounters with others than those who walk alone, with the pet often providing a topic of conversation.

Not only do pets provide us with loyalty, companionship, love and affection, they also provide many positive physical and physiological benefits.