Health Benefits of Pets
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
He can almost fly!
"Dogs come when they are called. Cats take a message and get back to you."
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!
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!
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
Are You a Pet Owner?
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