Pets can provide a number of benefits that can improve or help maintain not only your physical health but your mental health as well. In addition, pets can be beneficial to your child’s health. Let’s talk about some of the health benefits that are associated with owning and caring for a pet.
Pets Can Provide Physical Health Benefits
Pets can provide a number of physical health benefits. Studies have shown that pets lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol levels, and lower triglyceride levels. This in turn lowers your risk of heart attack, stroke, and other serious health conditions.
Pets, particularly dogs, require exercise, which encourages their owners to increase their exercise as well. It can be difficult for a sedentary person to find the motivation to exercise. However, the need of a dog for regular outings can be a perfect incentive for all of us to increase our exercise. Increased exercise is for many of us a good way to improve our life style and health.
Pets Can Be Beneficial to Your Mental Health
Pets can have a positive effect on our mental health as well. Pets can decrease feelings of loneliness and isolation. They can provide opportunities for socialization that might not exist otherwise.
Pets can also help relieve anxiety and stress, which can lead not only to a better mental state but to a healthier body as well. In addition, pets can help relieve depression. They do so by increasing levels of serotonin and dopamine, which can help create pleasant feelings and promote calmness.
Pets are frequently used as therapy animals. These animals visit hospitals, rehabilitation facilities, nursing homes, and other health care facilities. Programs involving therapy pets take advantage of the health benefits, both physical and mental, that these animals can provide.
Pets Can Make Your Children Healthier
It was once thought that children raised with pets were more likely to become allergic to those pets. Now we know the opposite is true. Children raised with pets (or on a farm or ranch around large animals) tend to have healthier immune systems, making them less susceptible to chronic diseases such as asthma or allergies.
Children raised with dogs also have a tendency to be leaner than those without dogs. A study published in the American Journal of Public Health showed children with pets are more active physically than children without pets. Increased activity helps keep your child fit and lean, avoiding obesity issues that are becoming increasingly problematic in our society.
Pets can provide a multitude of benefits for both you and your family in terms of health and well-being. Of course, having a pet means taking on responsibility for that pet. So be sure you’re ready to accept that responsibility before you adopt a pet. However, if you are able and ready to take on the responsibility, your pet will likely become an important part of your life and your family’s life.