Health Benefits Of Having A Pet

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October 25, 2011
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Let’s be honest, many of us have routines to help keep our moods up. We exercise, take walks, have a hobby, or a good close circle of friends. We may even have a therapist or go to a group that helps us express what’s going on, release the stress that we bottle up, and try stay on a steady course of being content. Did you know owning a pet can also help increase our moods? It’s one of the ways that can help us become more active, decrease health problems, and help us not worry about all the other things that stress us out.

1: Lower Depression – owning a pet can be beneficial for people who suffer from depression because pets offer comfort. The responsibility of taking care of a pet can keep people busy with simple tasks and distract them from the things that may be bothering them. Pets need care and attention and that can help people feel needed and valuable.

2: Lower the risk of high blood pressure, or even heart attacks – having a pet can reduce stress and anxiety because people focus on the tasks of taking care of their pet when they come home. They may not worry about work for a few minutes or hour because the dog needs to take a walk or the cat is sitting on their lap purring. Affection and loyalty from pets can help reduce tension and increase relaxation.

3: Decrease the risk of allergies – people used to think that having a pet could increase allergies but after several studies it has been discovered that being exposed to pets as a child decreases the risk of allergies. Kids who grow up with a pet are exposed to more foreign entities in the air and their bodies develop stronger immunities to things that could cause an allergic reaction. Basically, exposure to various germs helps people create defenses against them, so try to not go overboard with a germ free home.

4: Increases exercise – playing with pets and walking dogs can increase exercise that normally may not happen without a pet. People who walk their dogs tend to be more consistent about getting regular exercise and improve their fitness levels. It has been estimated that people who walk their dogs for about 30 minutes a day could lose about 14 lbs over the course of a year if they do it 5 days a week. Looking to stay fit? Go for a walk with Max!

5: Increases social interaction – having a dog that goes to the dog park, takes walks, means that pet owners will end up talking to other pet owners or other people who are curious about their pet. A stranger may ask to pet their dog, ask about the breed, or just make eye contact. Social interaction can improve stress management abilities. Small talk at the local dog park can help them forget about some of the other things in life that stress them out.

Photo courtesy of icanhascheezburger.com

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