People often wonder are pets good for health, but it depends on the type of pet they have. Dogs can help to improve your physical and mental health, while cats can also have a positive impact on your wellbeing.
Research has recently found that dogs can have a positive effect on your cardiovascular health. Compared to non-pet owners, those who own a dog are less likely to have heart problems and weight issues.
1. They Make Us More Active
Pets, whether it’s a cat or a dog, encourage you to take part in regular exercise. This helps maintain a healthy weight and keeps you fit.
Having a pet also reduces stress levels, which is great for your health. The interaction between you and your pet releases oxytocin, a happy hormone that naturally calms your body.
In addition, people with pets tend to have lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels than people without them. They may also live longer.
2. They Make Us Happier
Dogs, cats, reptiles, birds and fish all bring love and unconditional care to our lives. But did you know that pets also have a powerful impact on your health?
Having a pet lowers your stress levels, relieves symptoms of depression and anxiety and eases loneliness. They also encourage exercise and playfulness, which can improve your mood and boost your energy.
Pets also teach children responsibility and empathy, traits that will serve them well throughout their lives. They help develop a sense of community and connection, especially for kids who are socially awkward.
3. They Make Us Less Stressed
There’s a scientifically proven connection between our interactions with pets and lower stress levels. A simple touch of a pet’s fur releases the ‘happy hormone’ oxytocin, which lowers cortisol, blood pressure and elevates mood-boosting serotonin and dopamine all at once.
Animals are also known to reduce loneliness and social isolation – a problem for many elderly people or those living alone. They provide a sense of purpose and are often appreciative of their owners’ help.
4. They Make Us Less Angry
Pets aren’t just fun to be around, they also provide emotional support and a host of benefits that improve our well-being. For instance, stroking a furry friend sends signals to your brain that trigger oxytocin and serotonin, hormones that reduce stress and boost happiness.
Pets have a number of other perks as well, from being the best source of fresh air to offering a reminder of what’s important in life. It’s not a surprise that people with pets are happier, healthier and less stressed than those without. Those with pets are also more likely to get involved in social activities and exercise, both of which have been shown to reduce stress levels.
5. They Make Us More Social
Having pets makes us more social and helps make new connections. People love to meet pet owners and ask about their furry family members on walks, in parks or at events (think dog shows or dating sites for pet lovers).
In fact, a study found that pet-owners were 5 times more likely to get to know someone through their pets than other people who did not have animals.
Aside from that, a pet also provides emotional support and can reduce feelings of loneliness. This can be especially helpful for children and the elderly who live alone.
6. They Make Us Less Allergic
A study published in the JAMA Pediatrics found that children raised in a home with two pets were less likely to develop various types of allergies at age 6 than those born into a single pet household. They also had more immunity against other allergens.
Allergens produced by the glands in our dogs and cats float easily in the air and can cause respiratory problems such as sneezing, itchy eyes and nose, and asthma. They can also irritate the lining of the mouth and digestive tract, and even exacerbate hay fever symptoms.