Arriving home after a long stressful day at work, we love being met at the door by our 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 pets among others like birds, fish and rodents. Pets not only represent a fabulous company, but they also teach us compassion and unconditional love. let’s take a look at all the benefits they bring us.
Reduce the risk of allergies
Dogs or cat’s hair is usually what triggers allergy. With 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 medical journal JAMANetwork, 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 asthma at school age . Other research published in 2017 in the journal Microbiome found 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. Also, science supports the theory that greater exposure to pathogens and potential allergens at an early age can strengthen the immune system and make us more resistant to allergies.
Reduce anxiety and stress
The sound of a cat or the feeling of being with your dog feels calm and comfortable it won’t surprise you that having a pet helps relieve stress and anxiety
A study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2015 found that children who had dogs as a pet were significantly less likely to test positive for anxiety.
Another 2017 study published in the Social Development magazine concluded that children who had a dog as a pet had lower levels of cortisol, the “stress hormone” when interacting with their pets. Horse riding or caring for horses also proved to be a good anti-stress therapy, according to another study published in the Human- Animal Interaction Bulletin of the University of Washington.
Improve heart health
Many of us are aware of a healthy lifestyle, exercising and following a healthy diet are essential to reduce the risk factors for heart disease. But did you know that a pet can also protect your heart? A 2013 study published by the American Heart Association concluded 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
Most pet owners have a special bond with their cute little 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. 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 leaders. As if this were not enough, greater attachment to animals during adolescence proved to cause greater empathy and confidence in adulthood.
Improve mental health
A pet cannot cure mental illness, but science suggests that they can help, and much. A study published in 2016 in the journal BMC Psychiatry concluded that 60% of pet owners who had been diagnosed with serious mental illness claimed that their pet was “the most important thing to them” to control their condition. The study participants who had pets, felt more control and security over their disease thanks to the company of a pet. Many studies have also shown that dogs specifically, can help reduce the symptoms of depression. Also, many organizations recognize animal-assisted therapy as an effective treatment for depression and other mental illnesses.
Also Read: How to choose a Puppy
Improve sleep quality
Several investigations have shown that sharing a bed with your pet, leads to a better night’s sleep. This was determined by a study published in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings in 2015, in which 41% of pet owners who allow their pets to sleep in their room or even in bed, claiming that they slept better thanks to the feeling of security, companionship and relaxation offered by their pet. Also remember good sleep good health.
A study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology showed that pet owners exhibit much stronger self-esteem than those who did not. In addition, pet owners were more outgoing and less fearful than people without pets.
They make us more positive
Having a pet reduces our negativity. Just like thinking of a good friend can help us be less negative after a bad social experience, thinking about our pet has the same effect. This was determined by a study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology with 97 pet owners, after a negative social experience, participants who subsequently recalled their pet or their best friend, showed zero negative feelings and were equally happy, even After this experience. However, the control group continued to show negative feelings.
They 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 their physical condition much more, compared to people who walked with their 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 which is good for our health.
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 met just as with their friends. Research subjects reported that their dogs provided them with a strong sense of belonging and a meaningful existence. This relationship is not exclusive, that is, people do not only turn to their pets instead of having friends, but enjoy the company of their pets, in addition to the company of their friends.
They help control our cholesterol
The mandatory 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 cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Pets help us flirt
Having a pet is a focus of attraction for other people. Faced with the myth of the ‘crazy cats lady’ who lives alone with her 12 cats and without any friends or family, many studies have determined that having a pet can improve our human relationships and attract other people to us. Pets allow us to start a conversation very naturally and fluently and can attract other pet lovers to talk to us.