Want a Friend to Help your Health? Get a Pet

Nov 19 2013 - 9:28am
Man's best friends

A dog is a man's best friend in more ways than you might imagine.

There have been anecdotal stories for as long as we can remember about how a dog is a man's best friend. The emotional bond which is often seen between dog owners and their pets is generally very impressive. To add to the psychological benefits of dog ownership there are also considerations of improved physical health from taking care of your pet.

A prescription for a pet may be a good idea

A prescription for a pet is a novel idea that could really pay off. Overall, pet owners have been found to be better off than non-owners, particularly when they nurture a higher-quality relationship with their pets. The majority of families in the United States have at least one pet,
as reported on by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). There are many health benefits of owning pets.

It has been found that pets can decrease your:

1: Blood pressure

2: Cholesterol levels

3: Triglyceride levels

4: Feelings of loneliness

Pets can also increase your:

1: Opportunities for exercise and outdoor activities

2: Opportunities for socialization

Research confirms the belief that overall owning a dog is really good for your health, as reported
upon in the journal Psychology and Society. This study was done by researchers associated with the Psychology Department at the University of Tromsø, Norway. It has been shown that the owner's attachment to their pets influences taking time to walk their dogs which is of course very beneficial for their health.

It has been observed that owners of dogs do not visit the doctor as often as non pet owners. And so dog owners also have lower health care costs than non dog owners. There have also been reports that having a dog as a companion is associated with a lower rate of depressive symptoms. People who lack social supports from family and friends often gain great emotional benefits from having a dog as a pet. Dog owners therefore appear to be better physically and emotionally fit than non dog owners.

The dramatic health benefits of owning a dog have been witnessed not only from exercising with a dog, but also from simply being with a dog. It appears that walking a dog offers potentially more health benefits due to an actual benefit for cardiac health from the bonding between man and dog. Owners of pets have been found to have lower systolic blood pressure and plasma triglycerides than non pet owners. It has been found that after a myocardial infarction, one year survival is improved by owning a dog. Having a pet may lower your risk of heart disease, writes
Emaxhealth reporter Teresa Tanoos.

The physical health of children is often also improved from having a dog. Children have been found to suffer from fewer colds and attacks of influenza when they own a dog. However, caution should be taken in children who have asthma, since being around a dog can increase symptoms of bronchitis in these kids.

Dog ownership appears to benefit emotional well being in adults and kids. It has been observed that pets can lower owners’ depression and anxiety levels. In fact simply touching an animal may lower a person's anxiety and physiological arousal, which can roll over into significant health effects. And just playing with pets can increase a person's socialization.



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