Health 101: Pets Are Good for Our Hearts

An article released recently by U.S. News has proven what many of us pet owners have always known, pets are good for our hearts. We know they relieve stress, can remind us to “stay present,” and can make us smile in our darkest moments with their wagging tails and loving eyes. An official statement released by the American Heart Association says there is evidence that having a pet, particularly a dog, may lower your risk of heart disease.

The article discusses how having pets, particularly dogs, helps lower blood pressure, increase brain chemicals that contribute positively to moods, and lower stress as well as weight. Walking, playing, and being out and about with your dog exercises you too! Having a pet that keeps you in a routine is important to not feel or become overwhelmed with the rest of the daily stressors of life. The American Heart Association gathered from studies that there is a reduction in heart disease risk factors such as high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol levels and obesity — and improved survival among people with heart disease when people own a dog.

They do stress that owning a dog does not mean it will eradicate the chances of heart issues but it does help keep us healthy in all aspects from exercising to socializing. Further research is needed to see if healthier people have pets or if pets help people become healthier. It sounds like a chicken or egg conumdrum.

However, for us pet owners, it’s good reinforcement to stay motivated and walk that extra half mile with our dogs and remember to play with them everyday. To read more, click here.

Image from Wikimedia Commons

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