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Why Pet Owners Are Happier And Healthier

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Studies show that pets are good for your health, here are a few of the examples of this phenomenon.

 Heart attack patients with pets live longer than those without.

Pets increase our levels of oxytocin and serotonin.

Alzheimer’s patients are more apt to eat their meal if a fish tank is on nearby table, so they can see the fish swimming.

And we have seen therapy dogs make amazing differences ion the lives of those in assisted living or hospice.

 

There are more specific health benefits you will get by sharing your life with a pet.

1. People who live with pets tend to feel happier and less lonely.

Pets provide a sense of purpose, which boost self esteem.  Chronically ill people with pets are less likely to suffer from depression and isolation.  The routine of owning a pet provides structure and meaning.  Activities like walking your dog gets you outside and often results in social interaction.

2. Having a pet can help keep your blood pressure under control.

Most of us are cuddled up with our pets while relaxing or watching TV.  Petting your cat or dog helps your body release a relaxation hormone and cuts down on levels of a stress hormone, which can lower your blood pressure.

3. Having a pet is associated with heart health.

The American Heart Association links living with pets, especially dogs, with greater longevity and reduced risk for heart disease.  Findings from the National Institutes of Health showed that having pets minimizes the risk of a future heart attack through decreased blood pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

4. Pets can help off depression.

Those of us with pets know no one who loves you more than your pet.  Whatever mood you are in your pet is there for you. Some therapists will recommend getting a pet to help with or overcome your depression.  Pets also help reduce e feelings of anxiety and depression in the chronically ill.

5. Pets encourage you to stay active.

I know people who would not walk one block for their own health, but their dogs motivates them to walk them each day or every other day.

6. Pets can help children and teens overcome limitations.

Children with ADHD, whose energy levels can prevent focus, caring for a pet provides focused and specific task that the child can be responsible for.

 

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