Here at Healthy Partner Pet Snacks, we hold the cause of Pet Adoption very near to our hearts. Because of this, we've put together some reasons why every home should have a pet, and why everyone should consider adopting a pet. Besides being loyal and loving, pets provide significant health benefits for their owners. Some of these health benefits are pretty surprising. Pets can help their owners with health issues ranging from depression to cancer detection to physical fitness and more.
Still unsure if a pet is right for your home? Here are eight convincing reasons to own a pet.
Pet owners experience physical health benefits
1. Pet owners have healthier hearts
While caring for pets can sometimes be stressful, the benefits outweigh the cons. Pet owners have shown lower resting heart rates and blood pressure than non-pet owners. They also had lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels, which are indicators of heart disease. Studies also show that heart attack patients with dogs survive longer than those without.
2. Pet owners are sick less often
A study in the United States and China both had similar findings: Dog owners had fewer doctor visits than non-dog owners. They also took fewer sick days and exercised more than non-dog owners.
3. Pet owners are more physically active
Between walking and playing with dogs, owners can’t help but be more physically active. A dog’s energy encourages more trips outside and more play─something all grown-ups still need.
4. Pets have an impact on allergies and asthma
While research is still being conducted on this, many studies show how owning a pet when children are younger may help build up a tolerance to allergens. One study published in the Journal of Pediatrics in 2011 even found that eczema rates were lower in children with pets.
5. Dogs can detect health problems
This is not the case with all dogs, but it is possible for dogs to detect cancerous growth, low blood sugar, and oncoming seizures. Some dogs can also be trained to help their humans detect allergens. For example, an owner with a severe peanut allergy could have their dog trained to recognize when peanuts are in a room or on a person. The dog can then alert the owner and herd them out of the dangerous situation.
6. Pet owners are less depressed
Dog and cat owners are less likely to be depressed. There could be several reasons for this. First, playing with a pet elevates levels of serotonin (associated with feelings of happiness and well being) and dopamine (associated with motivation and mood).
Second, owning a pet can ward off feelings of isolation when the pet acts as a loving companion. Also, a dog's need for walks and exercise helps owners get out of the house and often leads to friendly interactions with other dog owners. Both activities help decrease feelings of isolation, which can lessen depression.
7. Pet’s can improve childrens' health
If you want to help a child be more physically active, a dog is a great way to start. The American Journal of Public Health found that children with dogs spent more time doing moderate to vigorous physical activity than children without dogs. Those same children also had lower blood pressure, lower heart rates, and less behavioral distress when their pet was present.
8. Pet’s help children develop social skills
Besides the health benefits pets can have for children, pets can help improve their social skills. The National Center for Health Research reports that children, especially those with no siblings, develop more empathy, higher self-esteem, and participate more in social and physical activities than those without dogs.
Article written by Melissa Wheeler