Pets Enrich & Extend Your Life.
By Dr. Robin Rose and Christiana Cottrell
Owning a pet can have a positive impact on both your mental and physical health. The mental and physical health benefits of owning a pet reach far beyond the feeling of contentment that comes with the loyal companionship and unconditional love of an animal. Along with reducing stress, anxiety, depression, and loneliness, caring for a pet has shown to improve cardiovascular health and lower both cholesterol and triglyceride levels – two biomarkers of heart disease.
Studies have revealed the benefits of owning a pet including the decreased likelihood of depression, secretion of “calming” hormones such as serotonin and dopamine, and maintaining healthy blood pressure in times of stress. Also, pet owners over 65 make 30% fewer trips to the doctor than non-pet owners in the same age group.
Additionally, owning a pet leads to healthy lifestyle practices by increasing your exercise, establishing a daily routine, and facilitating conversations with new people. Furthermore, in older adults, owning a pet has been shown to enhance vitality. Dogs and cats, in particular, can increase your energy by encouraging playfulness, laughter, and exercise – all of which boost your immune system. Finally, there are many health benefits of owning a pet for children. Studies have shown that pets can calm aggressive or hyperactive kids, make children feel important, and improve a child’s ability to build relationships with others.
Given all of the benefits of owning a pet for all ages, why not rescue an animal in need of a loving home? Improve your mental and physical health by hugging your pet extra tight today – the benefits are mutual.