The Numerous Health Benefits of Pets
Pets make us feel happy and content with their boundless love, but some owners may not realize how they can improve the mental and physical health of themselves and their children. The CDC explicitly states that “Studies have shown that the bond between people and their pets can increase fitness, lower stress, and bring happiness to their owners.”
This obviously does not mean that you should go out and get any pet right away if you do not have one. But by understanding how pets improve your health as well as your own health needs, you can get a pet that works best for you. And no matter what pet you have, never forget to take it to an excellent veterinarian.
Physical Health Benefits
Dog walking is such a well-established benefit that people will get dogs as an incentive to start regularly walking themselves. While that approach normally does not work, there is no denying that regular dog walks are good for the owner’s physical health. The ASPCA notes that walking is “good for your heart, muscles, joints, waistline and even your mental health. Just be sure to care for your dog’s paws by using paw balms to prevent paws from cracking especially if you walk every day.
Even if you own another pet besides a dog, they can also help your heart and other symptoms. Cornell University reported on a study that found that petting cats and dogs for just 10 minutes can help decrease stress, thus lowering the risks of other diseases.
Mental Health and Socialization
Physical and mental health are not wholly separate as the above study demonstrates, but all pets are very useful at improving your mental health. Pets provide companionship and thus can help relieve loneliness, and it is often argued that pets can thus treat depression. The science behind that latter claim is murkier than might be otherwise assumed, but pets can help relieve stress with their unconditional love as shown above.
Furthermore, pets can relieve loneliness by serving as a social connector. Pets can serve as an excellent icebreaker to meet your neighbors, which can be the initial point to get involved with your local community.
Pets and Pediatric Health
You may consider getting a pet not for yourself, but for your children. Children can receive the above health benefits in the same way that adults do, and there are also some unique benefits that kids can get from pets as well.
First, pets can teach children. Many parents get pets so that their children can learn discipline and stick to a routine by having to routinely care for a pet, day after day. And for many smaller pets, they can teach children that all life is precious and unfortunately always too short.
Furthermore, pets can improve a child’s allergy and immune system response early in life. While some parents may worry about how an animal’s allergy can affect their children, studies have found that pets can reduce the chances of allergies or eczema.
In summation, pets can help lower cholesterol and improve your physical health, provide companionship and fight against the dangers of loneliness, and especially improve the health of your children. If you do not have a pet, consider getting one that fits into your individual needs to live a longer and better life.