Why Pets are Good for us!
Veterinarian Reviewed on February 16, 2012 by Dr. Janice Huntingford
All pet lovers think that their pets are special and they are, but most of us do not realize how good our pets are for us.
Here are 10 ways our pets are good for us!
- Pets are good for us. Research has shown that spending 15 to 30 minutes with your pet will lower your cortisol level and increase your serotonin level. This means your stress level will significantly decrease when you are interacting with your pet.
- Pet owners have lower blood pressure and lower heart rates than those who do not own pets. Researchers have also noted lower levels of cholesterol and triglycerides in pet owners.
- Pet owners have a lower risk of dying from cardiac disease including heart failure.
- Taking care of a pet, walking it ,playing with it, feeding it, and petting it is a good remedy for depression. Petting a dog or cat has a calming effect and makes people feel better.
- Dog owners have better fitness than non dog owners. In general, most dogs need to be walked 15 minutes twice daily and this walking is also good for their humans!
- Researchers aren’t sure why, but cat owners have fewer strokes than non cat owners. It is known that cats have a calming effect on people but caring for a cat can help to divert the owner from other worries.
- Pets help us to interact with others. If you take your dog to a dog park you interact with other dog owners and this helps keep your mind healthy and engaged.
- Children who grow up in a home with a dog or cat are less likely to develop allergies. The same is true for kids who live on a farm with large animals. In addition, they have stronger immune systems. Children who grow up with cats are less likely to develop asthma.
- Kids who have ADHD benefit from taking care of and playing with a pet. Playing with a pet is one way for an ADHD child to release energy. Because pets love unconditionally, ADHD children develop self esteem from their pets.
- Dogs, cats and horses are good therapists for all of us in this stressful world. Our pets love us unconditionally and never criticize us. They give us a better quality of life and help us cope.
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Janice Huntingford, DVM, has been in veterinary practice for 28 years and has founded two veterinary clinics since receiving her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph. She has studied extensively in both conventional and holistic modalities. Ask Dr. Jan