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Health Benefits of Pets

Updated on March 12, 2018
Pamela99 profile image

I spent 22 years in the nursing profession, and I enjoy writing about medical issues. I'm also interested in history, genealogy, and travel.

Improve your Health

The benefits of of owning a pet are numerous. What has your pet done for you lately? Maybe he barked and scared an intruder from the door? Or perhaps he fetched your slippers, the newspaper or just given you a loving nuzzle?

There is a growing body of research that proves owning a family pet will improve your health and reduce your stress level.

History of Dogs and Cats

Humans have shared a unique bond with animals since ancient times. 12,000 years ago. Dogs were domesticated from wolves as the result of a mutual partnership.

Wolves benefited the man's use of weapons and skills during a hunt, but humans billiard the wolves feed and ferocity.

Also, cats are valued in ancient times for their skillful pest control and even revered as sacred in some countries. Cats in turn benefited from food, shelter and playtime with their human companions.

In fact, 39% of United States households own at least one dog, while 33% own at least one cat which lends further credence to the strong human animal bond.

Oscar my 16 pound Tuxedo Cat

my photo
my photo

He can almost fly!

source coolfacts
source coolfacts


"Dogs come when they are called. Cats take a message and get back to you."
Mary Bly

Benefits of Pet Ownership

Research indicates that pet owners have fewer allergies; they're less likely to be depressed, have better heart health, have less Alzheimer's symptoms and often exercise more.

Pet owners get to experience the love and companionship of their pet on a daily basis. Pets so require grooming, pet supplies, pet products and the occasional visit to the veterinarian. There are many types of pets, such as, dogs, cats, birds, a hamster, a fish tank or probably several other types of animals.

That looks a little mean!

source Flickr
source Flickr

The Delta Society

There are numerous studies that prove owning a pet can improve your health. Studies have shown that owning a cat can lower your blood pressure, relieved feelings of depression, loneliness, stress and anxiety, and even boost your self-esteem. The Delta Society, a nonprofit organization, has done research that shows:

  • Pet owners have lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels than non-– owners
  • Displaying tanks of brightly colored fish improves eating habits and curtails disruptive behavior in people with Alzheimer's disease
  • Pet owners have better psychological well-being overall, and feel less afraid of being a victim to a crime in their home
  • Children exposed to pets during their first year of life have a lower risk of developing asthma and allergies
  • Pet ownership may decrease heart attack mortality by 3%
  • Owning a pet (particularly a dog) helps children adjust better to serious illness or death of a. parent, As well as enhances self-esteem, cognitive development and nurturing behavior

Research has further proved that heart attack patients with pets survive longer than those without. Another study found that pet owners made 15 to 20% fewer visits to their doctor each year.

A Little Power Play!

source petsrus
source petsrus


source Flickr
source Flickr

Too Cute

source animalwallpaper
source animalwallpaper

Stress Benefits

Another amazing benefit of owning a pet is their remarkable ability to ease feelings of stress. Chronic stress can increase your number of health problems, ranging from heart disease to cancer. Just simply petting your dog or cat raises your levels of serotonin and dopamine, which are the two feel-good chemicals in your brain. And to think I thought it was chocolate, exercise, sex or drugs.

A study completed by Karen Allen, PhD, a medical researcher at the University of Buffalo, concluded that stockbrokers who owned a pet have lower blood pressure during stressful situations than those who did not own a pet.

Dogs Used to aid Healing and Lift Spirits

They are using dogs for pet therapy and nursing homes and in some hospitals in the long term care areas. Most patients are delighted to see a happy little dog wagging its tail when they've been lying in a hospital bed for four weeks or maybe more. Studies have found having pets visit hospitals have positive influence on the patient's recovery.

The Delta Society has a program to certify therapy animals working with special handlers interact with adults and children, providing a wide range of emotional physical benefits. They launched a cancer treatment center program in January of 2008 to help these anxiety, pain, discomfort and stress among cancer patients and their loved ones. “Patients taking part in the animal – assisted therapy program get visits from Tori, a one – year – old Australia Labradoodle and certified therapy dog, who provides comfort, relief and distraction from pain – – and even performs tricks to give patients a laugh.".

The Benefits of Owning a Pet

Pet Poll

Are You a Pet Owner?

See results


source public domain
source public domain


Many of us have wonderful memories of owning a pet from childhood and our children will also remember all the fun they've had with their cat or dog, or both

If you start training a pet as soon as you get them home you will enjoy them more and more through the years. Certainly at times pets can test your patience. It takes patience and time to train puppies, but most of them settled down by two years or before.

My recent experience with my cat is he took almost no training if I was consistent and gentle with him. They trust you and when you tell them no they understand, or I squirt him with a spray bottle of water and white vinegar. He really doesn't want to smell like a salad! My big cat brings me much joy and follows me around like is a little puppy, but he is a totally indoor cat. I have found it most important to begin training with cats or dogs as soon as you bring them home.

Pets enhance your life in many ways as they make you laugh, are always happy to see you, are affectionate and at add a special quality to your life.

© 2011 Pamela Oglesby


Submit a Comment
  • profile image

    cats rule dogs rule 

    8 years ago

    Hi everybody hi doctor joe

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    9 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Lorlie, One about pets if they love us that are best and at our worst. It is hard ask for than that. Thank you so much for your comments, much appreciated.

  • lorlie6 profile image

    Laurel Rogers 

    9 years ago from Grizzly Flats, Ca

    Pamela-What a wonderful hub my friend-If I think back and hard through tough times, my animals have always been here by my side to see me through.

    I am grateful for them daily!

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    9 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Prairieprincess, Pets really can make a big difference in our lives. Thank you so much for your comments. God bless.

  • prairieprincess profile image

    Sharilee Swaity 

    9 years ago from Canada

    Pamela, beautiful hub, and a great explanation of how much pets benefit us. Love the statistics that you cite ... very interesting!

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    9 years ago from Sunny Florida

    katyzz, Thanks so much for your comments.

  • katyzzz profile image


    9 years ago from Sydney, Australia

    Loved it, love pets, how wonderful they are and sorry I have been so tardy of late, Pamela

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    9 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Katie, I think two dogs and two great cats are great. I couldn't think of a button for everything. I figured you were a pet lover and I appreciate your comments.

  • katiem2 profile image

    Katie McMurray 

    9 years ago from Westerville

    Awesome, Your tuxdeo cat Oscar looks just like my tuxedo cat Elvis except Elvis weighs a wee bit more, he's a huge cat! Pets are amazing and bring us so much joy. I had to check a button that didn't apply. We have two dogs and two cats. :) Katie

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    9 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Sonia, I think labradors are wonderful pets and I can understand your love for him. It is difficult to leave them when you know you're not happy. Thank you so much for your comments.

    applejuice, I certainly agree about pets being therapeutic and we don't necessarily think of them that way when we're purchasing one. They become a family member very quickly. Thanks so much for your comments.

  • applejuic3 profile image


    9 years ago from San Diego, CA

    Love the picture of the cat pushing the other cat's face into the water. Pets are so therapeutic and much more rewarding than we give them credit for :)

  • sonia05 profile image


    9 years ago from india

    lovely hub! i really enjoyed reading it. I have a pet dog,a labrador,he is very loving and cute and i believe he understands me very well,he can almost read my mind for he knows when i am happy or sad. Life has certainly changed for the better since the time he has come to my home. The only problem i face is when i have to go out of station for a few days and leaving him in a creche is not easy for he becomes very sad and i am moved to tears most of the time!

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    9 years ago from Sunny Florida

    ImChemist, At this time I only have a cat but I adore that have owned both dogs and cats do the years. Thank you so much for your comment.

    drpastorcarlotta, I'm sure those two many pinchers keep you busy. Thank you so much for your comments.

  • drpastorcarlotta profile image

    Pastor Dr Carlotta Boles 

    9 years ago from BREAKOUT MINISTRIES, INC. KC

    GREAT pics!!! Voted-up!! I have two mini pinchers.

  • ImChemist profile image


    9 years ago

    I personally like cats more than dogs , but any way thanks for sharing this information.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    9 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Darlene, Congratulations on finally getting a good check from Hubpages. I understand how much you love your pet as I always become very attached to any pet that I get. You should write about your dream since I'm sure it would be interesting. Thanks so much for all your comments. Love and peace.

    Peggy, I think that's a great way to put the effect pets have on people and nursing homes. I know there are many programs out there and they seem to be working so well. Thanks so much for your,.

  • Peggy W profile image

    Peggy Woods 

    9 years ago from Houston, Texas

    I believe this totally! I have grown up with pets but saw it first hand in a nursing home with how the residents responded to being able to see and pet visiting dogs. They are angels disguised in pet fur...or fins and feathers as fits the case. Voting this useful and beautiful.

  • Darlene Sabella profile image

    Darlene Sabella 

    9 years ago from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ...

    Oh my darlin Pam, how sweet and wonderful is this hub, I love my pets more then my kids, at least that's what my grown children tell me...LOL That picture with the cat holding the other cats head down in his dinner dish cracks me up. I just remember my dream about my pets, I must write it...and guess what I will get a new pay check from hub, my first with $.40 more cents, it has taken me 18 months, I am doing something seriouly wrong...and I love you too girlfriend...peace darski OH rate up up

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    9 years ago from Sunny Florida

    MPG, I agree the pets become a part of the family and why lost my last cat I grieved over her for months. I'm glad they're showing with research just a therapeutic pets can be even down to the strength helping Alzheimer patient. Thanks so much for your comments.

  • MPG Narratives profile image

    Maria Giunta 

    9 years ago from Sydney, Australia

    Sassie has been part of our family for 4 years and prior to her I had cats as I was growing up. I wouldn't know how to live without a pet, any pet. They really to bring a special something into your life. I believe they are therapeutic as you point out in this hub, thanks Pamela.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    9 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Becky, Thank you for sharing that information and I appreciate your comments.

    Ashlie, I think dogs are amazing the way they watch out for us and protect us. Thanks so much for your comments.

    Angiewu, I'm glad you liked the pictures and I appreciate your comments.

  • anglnwu profile image


    9 years ago

    What cute pictures--they are so endearing. I agree with on the benefits of owning pets. Love that little quote on the difference between a dog and cat--so true. Thanks for sharing.

  • AskAshlie3433 profile image


    9 years ago from WEST VIRGINIA

    These are some great pics and great background on the two. We had a dog, it was a Rockweiler, hope that's spelled right. He always followed us, watching out for us. It is amazing the knowledge they can have. Great hub, very AWESOME!

  • Becky Puetz profile image

    9 years ago from Oklahoma

    I'm in total agreement with you and know for a fact that owning a pet helps children adjust better to serious illness or the death of a parent. Thank you for the information. Awesome hub.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    9 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Sally, That is one of the great things about dogs, unconditional love. Thanks for your comment.

  • Truckstop Sally profile image

    Truckstop Sally 

    9 years ago

    Fun hub! Thanks. My dog is the only one who loves me unconditionally . . . and the reverse is true too! If I could just get rid of the dog hair!

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    9 years ago from Sunny Florida

    vydyulashashi, What an awful time to lose your dog. I know that was awful. I hope you will be able to find another dog sometime that you will love as much. Thanks for sharing your comments.

    Ingenira, I know your son will be happy. Thanks so much for your comments.

    Susan, I remember that one also. I'm glad you enjoyed the hub and I appreciate your comments.

  • Just Ask Susan profile image

    Susan Zutautas 

    9 years ago from Ontario, Canada

    Pamela loved the pictures and the quote is so true. Dogs drool cat's rule. I cannot remember who said that one but it is always one I remember. So many benefits to having pets. Enjoyed your hub very much!

  • Ingenira profile image


    9 years ago

    I love the photos. I am also surprisingly glad to know the many benefits of owning the pets. I think I will get one for my son who has been asking for it !

    Well presented hub, voted up, rated useful and awesome.

  • vydyulashashi profile image


    9 years ago from Hyderabad,India

    I had a wonderful dog Max. He died on my birthday.

    People used him call him as my brother.

    Great Hub. Reminded of my Max.

    God Bless you!

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    9 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Prasetio, I am not surprised you are an animal lover. I don't have a camcorder either but want to get one. I appreciate you comments as always. You are such a sweet man. God Bless you.

  • prasetio30 profile image


    9 years ago from malang-indonesia

    I have a cat and two beautiful kittens. They looks so cute and adorable. They always make me laugh, every time they move and catch something. Unfortunately, I don't have video camcorder. Thanks for writing this, Pamela. Well done. I love all stunning pictures inside this hub. My vote always for you. God bless you!


  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    9 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Roberta, I'm glad you enjoyed the hub and I appreciate your comments.

    rpalulis, The photos are so funny that I loved them too. Thanks for your commetents.

  • rpalulis profile image


    9 years ago from NY

    My dog is getting very old, but she still thinks she's a young pup and wants to go every where I go. Great Hub Pamela, love the photo's!

  • Roberta99 profile image


    9 years ago

    I loved the pictures. Have had both dogs and cats at varioud times and they just become a member of the family. Good hub.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    9 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Hmrjmr, I think the use of dogs or fish are fantastic since they seem to really help. At one of the hospitals and in a nursing home I know of in Jacksonville have fairy new programs using dogs. I have a friend that started one of the programs and they are working out very well. Thanks so much for sharing your experience.

  • Hmrjmr1 profile image


    9 years ago from Georgia, USA

    Pam - Great Info some of which I can verify, we have a therapy dog in our Alzheimer wing at the VA Hosp I work at, we just got him in December and he has already made a visible difference with some of our patients.

    We also use Fish tanks and finch Aviaries throughout the Community living centers in our nursing home and hospice wards. Great Hub!

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    9 years ago from Sunny Florida

    drbj, I came across this funny photos which really is what how I ended up writing the hub. I think people to get more satisfaction owning a dog because they interact more with you in many cats do. I appreciate your comments.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    9 years ago from Sunny Florida

    WillStar, My cat is the same way I guess it's just an instinct they have which makes them so special. It sounds like your wife has you figure it out. I appreciate your comments.

    Shalini Kagal, I think that's how most people feel because the pets become family members. And if you lose one the grief is so difficult. Thanks so much for your comments.

  • drbj profile image

    drbj and sherry 

    9 years ago from south Florida

    Pamela - your photos are wonderful. Laughed out loud at the dog sitting on the head of his vanquished foe.

    I believe that owning a dog is the best experience a human can have. Cats are okay, too, but they are more independent. Dogs are unconditionally loving and loyal.

  • Shalini Kagal profile image

    Shalini Kagal 

    9 years ago from India

    They're remarkable aren't they? We have two dogs who rule the roost at home - but we just can't think of life without them!

  • WillStarr profile image


    9 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

    We have a 'sick' cat.

    No, the cat isn't sick, but whenever someone is ill or even just feels down, he finds them and stays with them for the duration. I don't know how he knows, but he always does and he's a great comfort.

    Pets are a nuisance and I tell my wife that when these are gone, I don't want any more pets.

    She knows what a liar I am.


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