Our pets can be our greatest friends. Every pet owner will attest that their animal friends can be the most loyal and loving companions they can have.
Aside from feeling happy with their presence, our favorite animal can make us healthy and improve the quality of our lives more than we know. Whoever said that laughter is the best medicine probably has not experienced owning a pet.
Studies show that living with pets provides positivity to our health. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in America, having a pet can help decrease blood pressure and cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Pets can also lessen anxiety and loneliness.
For the heart
One of the most remarkable benefits of owning a pet is its effect on our hearts, literally. Pets not only make us happy, studies also show that people who experienced a heart attack live longer when they have cats or dogs. Also, those who have pets had lower blood pressure readings in stressful situations. Pet owners have a lower risk of dying from any cardiac disease, including heart failure.
For the mind
A way to keep one’s mind healthy is by engaging with other people. Having pets like dogs help initiate conversations with others. Our pets are great conversation starters. When you are walking with your pet, there is a tendency that you socialize with other pet owners.
On another light, pets are used by therapists for their patients recovering from depression. Petting our canine and feline pets gives a calming effect. Spending time and taking care of them help pet owners feel better about themselves.
For the kids
We often hear people say they refuse to own dogs or cats because they are allergic to them. Some even say that they think these animals can be harmful to the kids because they are dirty. In a research by Dr. James Gern’s entitled Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, kids who grow up in a home with furry animals are less likely to have skin allergies and asthma. In addition, babies who have greater exposure to dirt and allergens brought by dogs have a stronger immune system. This is also true for children who are exposed to farm animals.
Other studies also show that children with pets who had problems in school and home had higher levels of self-esteem and better emotional functions compared to those with no pet. Pet therapy also shows immediate improvement in children with autism, ADHD and other mental disabilities.
For the elderly
Doctors, social workers and nursing homes recommend companion animals for the elderly to have happy and healthy lives. Pets improve the lives of the seniors because they bring love and companionship. The elderly can also get a chance to feel needed, and in return, these animals offer them love and loyalty.
Pets certainly bring out the best in us because they provide a constant source of comfort. They accept us the way we are. They not only bring out our nurturing side, they also relieve our stress and anxiety.
We often wonder how pets help us, especially the sick, to have better lives. Regardless of what pet we have, a dog, cat, fish, bird or whatever animal that interests us, all of them give us therapeutic benefits. They affect us physiologically through the soothing effect that touch can bring. Also, we often feel needed by our pets, which stimulates our survival instincts.