People have many reasons for owning a pet. Pets offer companionship, protection, loyalty and loads of fun! But have you ever thought about the health benefits of having a pet? Research studies have shown that owning a pet can help lower blood pressure, boost immunity, lessen anxiety and reduce your risk of stress-related diseases.
The old school of thought suggested that having a pet in the home would increase incidents of allerigies. However a growing number studies now point out that exposure to pets in the home poses less of a risk for asthma, allergies and eczema, while promoting stronger immune system activation. Furthermore, studies also support that male pet owners have fewer heart disease risk factors such as elevated blood pressure and high cholesterol. A contributing factor to this health benefit may be that pets, like dogs, promote exercise, activity and socialization. Exposure and interactions with pets promotes a quicker recovery from stressful situations. Less stress means less disease and better healing.
For years, dogs have been used as service animals for the physically and visually impaired. And now, due to the health and social benefits, specially trained pets are being introduced into clinical settings and hospitals for therapeutic purpose and interaction with patients. Many therapy dog certification organizations are recognized and promoted by the American Kennel Club.
The benefits of owning a pet extend far beyond physical health. The emotional love and support you receive from your fine-feathered, or furry, four-legged friends will help you and your loved ones "Feel Better and Live Longer!".
Jody Anderson, RN, CHC
Succeed Health, LLC- Algoma