Studies show that pet owners can reap many health benefits from their furry (or fluffy or sticky) friend.
Pet ownership has boomed during the coronavirus pandemic, as lockdowns and social distancing requirements have forced many to seek companionship at home. While the joy of receiving your dog at the front door or getting a hug from your cat is obvious, more and more studies are showing that pet ownership also comes with multiple health benefits for owners.
Fido can help keep your physical health under control
Pets that require daily walks or playtime can help get their owners moving on a regular basis. One study even found that dog owners were four times more likely to get the recommended level of physical activity than people without dogs. Cat owners can rejoice, too—another study once found that cat owners have a much lower relative risk of dying from a heart attack than those who never owned a cat.
But the benefits may not stop with a healthy heart and increased exercise. Research has also shown that owning a pet can also help build and maintain healthy habits. According to a study by UT Southwestern Medical Center, teens who included a pet grooming routine in their diabetes self-care plan not only significantly improved disease control, but also lowered blood glucose levels.
Max can force you to interact with others
A key aspect of pet ownership is socialization – and that doesn’t just mean making sure your pet can meet and interact with others of their own kind. A pet can be a great icebreaker, and whether you take your dog for a walk in the neighborhood or bring your rabbit to the vet, you will likely have an increased social interaction with a pet.
Additionally, nearly three-quarters of older pet owners say their pet gives them a sense of purpose, an advantage that has become even more important during the coronavirus pandemic. A recent study found that seniors overwhelmingly turn to their pets for companionship and support, which in turn could have helped them be more resilient (and less isolated) during lockdown.
The scientists also found that animal-assisted therapy leads to a significant reduction in pain, as well as insomnia caused by pain, in people with a higher “base intensity” (such as those with chronic pain conditions, such as arthritis). It has also been shown to help older adults with dementia improve cognitive function, mood and symptoms of depression.
Cuddles from Sassy can boost your mental health
There’s a reason therapy pets exist—and not just because they’re adorable. Not only can they provide a level of comfort and emotional support as you get older, but they can actually improve your mental health right now. This is especially true for those with depression (lower rates in those who own pets) or PTSD (research indicates that having service dog It can help reduce PTSD symptoms.
But even if you’re not currently diagnosed with a mental illness, owning a pet can still provide comfort and companionship. In fact, a file study It is suggested that dogs can smell when people are under stress, with an accuracy of 93.75%. According to the National Institutes of Health, simply interacting with animals lowers levels of cortisol, the stress hormone. (No wonder therapy pets are brought into hospitals and nursing homes, where emotions and stress can run high.)
Of course, the type of pet is likely to have an impact on the health benefits you can get, and you need to be willing and able to take on the responsibilities that come with pet ownership – including Manage unexpected expenses Like emergency vet visits.
In other words: it’s not all about wellness and relaxation. but with Applicable warrantiesYour pet can help you live an active and happy lifestyle.
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