Have you noticed an increase in your happiness level since you got a pet? We always knew having pets around make people happier, but now there are studies that prove it.
Science confirms that pets are good for your health, both physically and mentally. They provide love and joy to our life, encourage us to be more active and social, and keep the loneliness at bay. If you have a pet, you probably already know all of this.
Take a look at these proven benefits of owning a pet:
1. Overall, pets help you live healthier, longer lives: a research in Sweden followed and studied the health records of 3.4 million people between 40-80 years old for a dozen years and found that people who lived alone and owned a dog had a lower risk of death by 33% and risk of cardiovascular-related death by 36%.
Last year, another 70 year-long research found that dog ownership lowers your risk of dying from any cause by 24%. For people who’ve experienced a heart attack or stroke, their risk drops by 31% from owning a dog.
2. Pets boost immune function and even alleviate allergies: did you know that living with a pet as a newborn actually reduces your chances of developing pet allergies later in life and even lowers your risk of asthma? A study in 2018 showed that households with both newborns and cats have a lower risk of childhood asthma, pneumonia, and bronchiolitis.
3. Pets help you get in daily exercise: staying active contributes to our overall physical health and owning a dog in particular means lots of daily walks which helps keep you fitter and slimmer.
4. Pets dial down stress: stress triggers our body into fight-or-flight mode which can take a physical toll on our body if we’re constantly stressed. Having pets around can balance this stress response by lowering stress hormones, heart rate, anxiety and fear. It also promotes an overall feeling of calmness and studies have shown that dogs can ease stress and loneliness of seniors and calm stress for college students. They don’t call dogs man’s best friend for nothing.
5. Pets promote heart health: pets give us a lot of love which impacts our cardiovascular health a lot. Studies have shown a link to lower risk of heart disease – patients who have a cardiovascular disease are 4x more likely to be alive after a year and more likely to survive a heart attack if they own a dog.
6. Pets make you more social… and sometimes even a date-magnet: people with pets come off more approachable… trustworthy… even date-worthy. Taking your four-legged friend out provides an opportunity to be more social and research has shown that women are more likely to give out their number to men with dogs.
7. Pets provide a social salve for Alzheimer’s patients: they offer comfort and social bonding to people suffering from brain-destroying dementias as studies show our furry friends can reduce behavioral issues, boost their mood, and raise their nutritional intake.
8. Pets enhance social skills in kids with Autism: it can be hard for autistic children to communicate and interact socially, but pets help them connect better. One study showed that kids with Autism Spectrum Disorder were more social when guinea pigs joined the party.
9. Pets boost our mood and keeps depression at bay: pets all-around will lift our spirits… it could be the love they shower us with or just their playful nature. An Australian study showed that owning a dog can help lessen feelings of loneliness.
10. Defeat PTSD: unconditional love and oxytocin boosts from a pet can help remedy the flashbacks and emotional outbursts linked to PTSD. There are now programs with specially trained service dogs and cats to assist veterans with PTSD.
11. Fight Cancer: therapy dogs help not only with loneliness and depression but can motivate kids fighting cancer to eat and follow treatment recommendations better which ultimately contributes to their healing process and health.
12. Animals can soothe chronic pain to some degree. One study found 34% of patients with pain disorder fibromyalgia reported pain relief after spending 10-15 mins with a therapy dog as opposed to 4% of patients that simply sat in an empty room.
Keeping a pet healthy is just as important for our health and if your pet has any health concerns, we carry a variety of pain relief products, CBD for pets and treats!