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Five health benefits of having a pet

Friday, April 28th, 2017 | Blog
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Everyone has owned a pet at some point in their life. It may have been a gerbil, a budgie or even a goldfish, regardless of what pet it was; small and large companions enrich our lives by offering us friendship and purpose. Aside from the companion aspect of pet ownership there are also a lot of genuine health benefits. There have been multiple studies on the various ways that pets can improve health, and even prevent or diagnose illnesses.

Pets Can Improve Your Social Life

This one mostly relates to those people that own a dog. Dogs need daily walks, and dogs need humans to take them out on those daily walks. This means that people often cross paths with other dog walkers and end up starting a conversation. Sticking to a similar set of paths each day could result in friendships and even romances blossoming. It’s also great for dogs because they are intrinsically social animals. You don’t need to be a genius to know that regular social interaction with other people is great for your health.

Immune Systems are Boosted by Pets

It is often believed that having a pet can increase your chances of having allergic reactions, but a study in 2004 found that children raised in household with furry animals actually had a stronger allergic resistance than those that hadn’t. It makes a lot of sense considering that our immune systems are going to have to work a lot harder around pets, which makes the cells in our body more capable of fighting off invading germs. You can read about the study here.

Healthier Hearts

This is another one that is mostly linked to dog ownership. Those dog walkers that we previously mentioned also benefit from a healthier heart. It’s quite simple really; those people that regularly walk their dogs are going to be more active than most people. It’s also been proven that talking to and petting an animal can reduce blood pressure, something that can reduce the risk of heart disease later in life.

Curbs Depression

We’re not saying that owning a pet is going to cure a person diagnosed with depression, but it can definitely help. Pets offer unconditional love to their owners, and considering how lonely those with depression can feel, the unconditional love of a small, adorable animal is likely going to go a long way. Another important aspect of pet ownership is the fact that it forces people into a routine, something that can make a huge difference someone who is stuck in a rut. There are a whole host of ways a pet can help alleviate the symptoms, some of which are discussed in this Weill Cornell Medical College report.

Positive Effects On Autism

A University of Lincoln study found that pets had a positive effect on families that had an autistic member. Those families with a pet in the study were found to be far less stressed, and the family had a better relationship as a whole. Some children with autism find that forming - and understanding - relationships can be difficult, but those children with previous experience of interacting with dogs found social interaction easier. You can find out more here.

 

There are many more benefits that we could have mentioned, and there is no doubt that pet ownership can enrich and improve a person’s life for the better. If you think we’ve missed any major benefits, or you’d just like to tell us about your pets, please tell us in the comments below.

 


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