The Health Benefits of Owning a Pet

Many families today have some sort of pet in their household and they are often considered one of the family. They are a source of enjoyment, amusement, companionship and love. Most animals thrive in a family and household environment.

It is said that almost half of all UK homes have a pet and research has shown that pets are good for our health. One obvious health benefit is that of exercise. Whether it be walking a dog or playing (energetically!) with a cat it is a great way to have fun and burn a few calories at the same time.

Scientific research has shown that contact with animals can have physiological and psychological benefits which include reducing stress, lowering blood pressure and aiding in recovery after a life-threatening illness. This includes other pets besides cats and dogs, such as gerbils, rabbits, birds and fish.

Pets can improve your mood and allieviate some of the symptoms of depression. For anyone who loves animals it is hard to stay in a bad mood when you look into a dog’s loving eyes or if your cat is rubbing against you. Dogs and cats seem to sense when you are sad or down and will do things to brighten your mood. Just watching a pet clown around and play will lighten your mood.

Studies  have shown that  pet ownership  can be a better  stabiliser of  blood pressure  than many drugs. ACE inhibiting drugs can generally reduce blood pressure but they aren’t as effective on controlling spikes in blood pressure due to stress and tension. It was found that people who had cats or dogs were found to have lower blood pressure and heart rates as those who didn’t have pets.

A pet will stave off loneliness and provide unconditional love. They can offer you companionship and give you something to hold and cuddle. You can tell them anything and your secrets will be safe. They are good listeners and won’t judge you; just love you.

Studies have shown that when elderly people are visited by pets they feel less lonely and isolated. Some people felt less stress and loneliness when being visited by pets than when spending time with other people. This is due to the fact that a dog or cat won’t put any social pressure on you, they will just sit and be a comfort to you.

Yet  more research has indicated that looking after a pet can help a child develop better social skills.  Studies have shown that children between birth and six who had a pet in their home have better social skills, better speech, co-ordination, confidence and are less likely to suffer allergies.

Pets can be a benefit in the workplace also. Research has shown that they can enhance work productivity. The research also showed that businesses that had a pet created a more productive environment and improved physical and emotional health.

A pet can give you unconditional love and support. Pets don’t talk back or argue. They won’t talk behind your back or leave you for someone else. Pets often form strong bonds with their owners and will be loyal to the end. They can help calm a person down naturally without the use of medication. Just by petting an animal or playing you can relieve tension and calm your nerves.

There are numerous health benefits  of having a dog or cat as a pet. Pets may also  help to build healthy immune systems. Studies have shown that kids have a lower risk of acquiring asthma and pet allergies if there is already a pet in their family. A dog or cat can actually help the human body build a healthier immune system.

You might want to consider  buying pet insurance on your family pet in case their will be unforeseen medical expenses in the years to come. You have health insurance on the rest of your family and for peace of mind you might want to get pet insurance on your four-legged family members.

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