Pet Power: Eight Health Benefits of Owning a Pet
Having a pet in your home is often reward enough, but there’s an added bonus. Here are some of the health benefits you’re enjoying when you cuddle and play with your pets.
1) Stress Less
People experienced less stress performing tasks when their pet was close than when a spouse, family member, or friend was nearby, a 2002 study from the State University of New York found.
2) Social Butterfly
Not only are you getting more exercise, but those extra miles outside the house are great for making friends and connecting with other pet owners.
3) More Exercise
Having a pet forces you to get active. One study found that dog owners gain as much as 30 extra minutes of walking a day than non pet-owners. Not to mention all the running at the dog park!
4) Pain Reliever
Those endorphins released while cuddling with your pet have been shown to significantly help with depression and anxiety, as well as physical pain.
5) Lower Blood Pressure
Bonding with your pet releases the hormone oxytocin, and significantly lowers your blood pressure. Some studies have even linked this to healthier hearts!
6) Allergy Blocker
Children growing up in homes with pets often develop a natural immunity to allergy-inducing pet dander. One study found that children ages 5 to 7 with pets at home missed three fewer weeks of school than their peers without pets.
7) Health Prevention
Pets have been proven to detect oncoming seizures, strokes, low blood sugar, and heart attacks.
8) Improving Focus
Children with autism calm down with the sensory experience of holding pets, while children living with ADHD benefit from the focus and responsibility required by taking care of a pet.