Six Health Benefits of Pet Ownership
They give us company, make us smile and love us unconditionally. So for everything your pet (or pets!) do to enrich your life, we celebrate them on Thursday, April 11: National Pet Day.
Did you know your pet helps you stay well?
Pet ownership can come complete with the following health benefits:
1. Improved heart health. This may be due to the calming effect animals have on people, helping to reduce blood pressure. Plus, studies show that owning a dog or cat can help lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels—though the reason why is still unclear.
2. A lighter mood. Petting your furry pet or even watching your fish swim can be incredibly soothing—reducing your stress level. Pet owners also report lessened depression symptoms from spending time with their animals.
3. A reason to exercise. If you’ve ever owned a dog or horse, you know how a pet can help you stay active! Even playing with your pet cat can get you up and moving around.
4. Connection to the community. A pet is a great conversation starter who also connects you to a larger community—other pet owners! You can take part in training classes or agility events; go to dog-friendly parks, shop at specialty pet shops and much more.
5. Allergy prevention. It may seem counter-intuitive, but having a pet may actually help children avoid allergies. A recent study showed that babies who lived in a house with a dog and/or cat were 50 percent less likely to develop asthma as children.
6. Comfort. Ever notice how your four-legged friend can tune into your mood and cuddle up with you just when you need it most? Whether they approach you or vice versa, the love of a pet can add to your happiness and well-being.
Help your pet help you
When they’re in good shape, your pets can live fuller, more comfortable lives—with you by their side. Take your pet for regular veterinary check-ups and parasite screenings, and get them vaccinated against diseases. You can learn more by visiting www.cdc.gov/healthypets. Keeping your pet healthy helps you and your family stay healthy, too!
Let’s hear it for the pets!
They give us a reason to smile—plus possible health perks. On National Pet Day and every day, celebrate the furry, scaly and feathery friends in your life.
*This article is for informational purposes only, and is not meant as medical advice.