Nov 7, 2012

How Pets Can Improve Your Health

It’s been circulated in conversation that pets cannot only improve your day and life experience, they can also improve your health. Whether you own a dog, cat, fish, bird, a horse or another companion, there are ways in which they can all enhance your physical and emotional states. Here is a list of five ways that various pets can offer healing in your life:

1.    Pets are great at enhancing your mood. Curling up with your cat for a few minutes, petting your loyal canine companion or even observing your pet fish float gracefully through its tank can do amazing things for your nerves. It causes cortisol, a stress hormone, to be lowered and replaced with serotonin. Serotonin is a chemical, which promotes relaxation in the body and this saves your body from exhaustion and physical damage due to stress and anxiety.

2.    Although this statistic is surprising, owning a cat can actually reduce the risk of a heart attack. It’s been noted in studies that 40% of people who had never owned a feline companion were 40% more likely to suffer a heart attack than those who did own cats. Other studies showed that those who owned dogs had a better recovery rate subsequent to a heart attack. Pet owners in general have been shown to have a much lower risk of dying from any cardiac disease.

3.    Depression is a common emotional disorder in the United States and it’s one that should be taken very seriously. Therapists have been known to suggest to those who suffer from depression to pick out a pet to care for. Through grooming, play, walking, feeding and petting, a pet owner can spend quality time loving their pet, therefore taking themselves out of their state of mind and allowing them to feel good about the way they are spending their time.

4.    Pets make great exercise buddies. Whether it’s a jog through the park with your dog, a game of ball or Frisbee with your dog, or combining floor exercises with playing with your cat, they’re all healthy ways to get in shape. Not only are you doing it alone, you’re also helping to take care of your pet and ensure that they’re in top physical condition too.

5.    For older pet owners, arthritis may be a chief concern. For an owner who has an older dog who also has arthritis, benefits can go both ways. You can synchronize doctor’s appointments, keep your medications together and take them at the same time and make sure you get adequate exercise, always watching out for each other.

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