There are a ton of health benefits to owning a pet. They can help lower stress and blood pressure and can also improve socialization, promote immunity/ allergy prevention, and improve overall happiness.
Interactions between pets and their humans increases a chemical called oxytocin in the brain that has a physical effect on the body. It slows your heart rate and breathing, preventing stress hormones and creating a feeling of calmness.
Having a pet can help manage blood pressure, especially for those with hypertensive or high- risk patients. Research suggests cat owners are 30 percent less likely to have a heart attack and 40 percent less likely to have a stroke. Another study showed that dog owners did more walking and physical activity than non- dog owners, and they were 54 percent more likely to obtain the recommended physical activity.
Whether it’s having a conversation about your pet or physically interacting with people outside, pets are a great way to go out and meet new people. Studies have found that pet owners are friendlier to their neighbors, likely because of their engagement when outdoors. There are even social media outlets where people can chat just about their pets.
Studies show that kids who are exposed to dogs and cats from an early age have a lesser chance of developing allergies and asthma. Researchers think it’s because of the exposure to the dirt and bacteria in their fur and paws that leads to children’s immunity.
Pets can provide companionship and a sense of purpose, especially in those who are old or sick. Veterans who are dealing with PTSD have shown improved mood and health when they have a pet companion. The bond between a person and a pet is an extremely important source of emotional support.
The love and companionship a pet brings is incredible for your mental and physical health. Pet owners are much happier and outgoing, have higher self-esteem, and are more physically active than those who don’t. Owning a pet is a great way to help improve yourself.