12 Ways that Pets Improve Health

Put a pet in your life

Put a pet in your life

When we get home after a long and stressful day at work , we love being greeted at the door by a friendly four-legged friend. Apart from giving us a smile, our pet could be doing wonders for our health and well-being. Dogs and cats are the most popular options , but birds, fish and rodents continue to gain followers. Pets not only represent a fabulous company, but they also teach us compassion and unconditional love. We take a look at all the benefits they bring us.

Reduce the risk of allergies

Reduce the risk of allergies

Dog or cat hair is usually one of the most frequent triggers of an allergy . Keeping this in mind, we are likely to be shocked that pets can reduce the risk of developing allergies. This was determined by a study published in 2015 in the journal J AMA Pediatrics , in which a team of Swedish researchers concluded that exposure to dogs and farm animals in early life was associated with a lower risk of developing school-age asthma . Other research published in 2017 in the Microbiome journalfound that children who were exposed to pets at home before birth and up to 3 months after birth, experienced changes in intestinal bacteria associated with childhood allergies. Thus, science supports the theory that increased exposure to pathogens and potential allergens at an early age can strengthen the immune system and make us more resistant to allergies.

They reduce anxiety and stress

They reduce anxiety and stress

The soothing sound of a  purring cat or the feeling of being with the “best friend of man” curled up on our feet guarantees that you feel, calm and at ease, hence it probably does not surprise us that having a pet helps relieve stress and anxiety. 
A study carried out by the 
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2015 found that children who had dogs as pets were significantly less likely to test positive for anxiety.
Another study of 2017 published in the magazine 
Social DevelopmentHe concluded that children who had a dog as a pet had lower levels of cortisol, the “stress hormone” when interacting with their four-legged companions. Riding horses or taking care of horses also proved to be good anti-stress therapy, according to another study published in the Human-Animal Interaction Bulletin at the University of Washington.

Improve the health of the heart

Improve the health of the heart

Many of us are aware of a healthy lifestyle, exercising and following a healthy diet are essential to reduce the risk factors of heart disease. But, did you know that a pet can also protect your heart? A 2013 study published by the American Heart Association c oncluyó that owning a pet ,  particularly a dog could reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease . Pet owners tend to have lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol levels, and are less likely to be obese.

Improve social skills

Improve social skills

Most pet owners have a special bond with their furry friends; In fact, statistics show that more than 66% of dog owners and 56% of cat owners consider their pet to be a member of the family. But, in addition, recent studies have concluded that having a pet would also have a beneficial influence on our other relationships. Thus, a study published in the journal Applied Developmental Science showed that caring for a pet can improve social skills.Those who were more careful with their animals also had a greater participation in the community and were more likely to establish themselves as the leader. As if this were not enough, a greater attachment to animals during adolescence proved to cause greater empathy  and confidence in adulthood.

Improve mental health

Improve mental health

A pet can not cure mental illness , but science suggests that it can help, a lot. A study published in 2016 in the journal BMC Psychiatry concluded that 60% of pet owners who had been diagnosed with severe mental illness, claimed that their pet was “the most important” to control their condition.The study participants who had pets, felt more controlled and more secure about their disease thanks to the company of a pet. Many studies have also shown that dogs, specifically, can help reduce the symptoms of depression, which is why many organizations recognize animal-assisted therapy as an effective treatment for depression and other mental illnesses.

Improve sleep quality

Improve sleep quality

Several investigations have shown that sharing a bed with the pet, far from hindering our rest, leads to a better night’s sleep.  This was determined by a study published in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings e n 2015, in which 41% of pet owners who allowed to sleep in his room or even in bed your pet, claimed that not only find this harmful activity but they felt that they slept better thanks to the feeling of security, companionship and relaxation that the pet offers.

Improve self-esteem

Improve self-esteem

A study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology showed that pet owners exhibit a much stronger self-esteem than those who did not. In addition, pet owners were more extroverted  and less fearful than people who do not own pets.

They make us more positive

They make us more positive

Having a pet  reduces our negativity. Just as thinking about a good friend can help us to be less negative after a bad social experience, thinking about our pet causes the same effect. This was determined by a study published in theJournal of Personality and Social Psychology with 97 pet owners, after a negative social experience, participants who subsequently remembered their pet or their best friend, showed zero negative feelings and were equally happy, including after this experience. However, the control group continued to show negative feelings.

Improve our physical condition

Improve our physical condition

A dog  is the best companion for a walk, even better than a friend, “according to a study at the University of Missouri that found that people who walk with their dogs improved much more their physical condition , compared to people who walked with your friends. Another study, published in the Journal of Physical Activity & Health , showed that not only dog ​​owners walk more than those without pets, but they were also 54% more likely to meet recommended levels of physical activity.

Reduce loneliness

Reduce loneliness

In addition to increasing self-esteem, pets can also reduce the feeling of loneliness  we feel. A study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that people who had dogs felt their social needs covered as well as their friends. The research subjects reported that their dogs gave them a strong sense of belonging and a meaningful existence. This relationship is not exclusive, that is, people do not only resort to their pets instead of having friends, but they also enjoy the company of their pets, as well as the company of their friends.

Help control our cholesterol

Help control our cholesterol

The obligatory daily walks of our dogs are helping to keep cholesterol  under control, as confirmed by the director of the Research Center for Human-Animal Interaction at the University of Missouri , Rebecca A. Johnson. In addition, a survey conducted by the Australian National Heart Foundation revealed that people who own pets, especially men, tend to have lower levels of cholesterol and triglycerides.

Pets help us to flirt

Pets help us to flirt

Having a pet is a focus of attraction for other people. Faced with the myth of the ‘crazy cats’ who live alone with their 12 cats and without any friend or family, many studies have determined that having a pet can improve our human relationships and attract other people to us. This allows pets to initiate a conversation in a very natural and fluid way and can attract other pet lovers  in our direction.

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12 Ways that Pets Improve Health

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