Pets Can Help You Live Longer

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6 years ago

Would you buy a medicine that lowered your blood pressure, improved your cardiovascular health, reduced your anxiety and stress, and made you happy...everyday? Probably!

People know how much love and affection pets can bring to our lives, but there’s more.  Scientific studies have found that having a pet can significantly improve your health.  Here are five ways pets can positively impact your health:

  1. An Exercise Buddy .  Dogs need regular exercise, which also gets their owners walking both day and night.  This can improve your overall health.  Another perk is that people improve their social network as they socialize their pet.

  2. Mood Elevator.   People, particularly seniors, who own pets are less likely to be depressed and lonely.  Pets can provide humor, companionship, and add playfulness into our daily lives. 

  3. Heart Benefits.  The American Journal of Cardiology reports those who don't own a pet are less likely to survive a heart attack than pet owners.  Another study found people who owned a dog were more likely to be alive one year after a heart attack than those who didn’t have a dog.

  4. Lower Blood Pressure. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) reports that pets help lower blood pressure (and heart rates). An American study found men who owned a cat had a lower resting heart rate and lower blood pressure than men who didn’t own a cat. And after a stressful event, their blood pressure returned to normal more quickly.

  5. Kids and Health.   Research presented at the 10th International Conference on Human Animal Interaction 2004 found that children who have pets have fewer sick days.  They also reported that children who had pets had greater levels of self-esteem and had better emotional functionality.  Research studies also found that children coped better with divorce when they owned a pet.

There is a word of caution, however.  Owning a pet requires a lot time and a money.  It is a full-time commitment to give your pets the love and attention they deserve.  If you’re not ready for that responsibility, it’s best to wait until you're in a better place to own a pet.