Paw-fact pals: How pets boost health and happiness. Adopting an animal into your family can bring endless joy and love to your life. They give you companionship, unconditional love, and much-needed motivation to get off the couch. It turns out that those who own pets are happier than those who don’t own a companion animal too! Consider the benefits or adopting a fur baby, feathered friend or scaly companion today.
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Pets may boost cardiovascular health
Even if you don’t believe in animals, they can still help your health.Several international studies have demonstrated lower blood pressure and cholesterol and even reduced rates of obesity from pet owners.RSPCA Australia senior scientific officer Dr Sarah Zito says pets keep us active.
“Dogs help make our lives more interesting, interesting and even more enjoyable,” Dr Zito says.Psychologist Melanie Jones says the boost to heart health is also down to hormones.“Even just looking at your pet produces the feel-good hormone oxytocin which lowers the stress hormone cortisol,” Melanie says.”
Pet ownership may help you live longer
When it comes to health and wellness, many people turn to pets. A 2006 study conducted in Australia and Germany found pet owners had 15 per cent fewer annual visits to the doctor than their non-pet-owning counterparts. And a meta-analysis of several studies found dog owners have a 24 per cent reduced rate of mortality and a 31 per cent lower risk of death by heart attack or stroke.
Life with pets can be happier
Owning a pet can do a lot for our mental health. They’re not just for people with four paws – whether it be Goldie the goldfish or Smokey the dog, watching them swim around their bowls can help lower stress levels and cause us to feel calmer. Studies also show that they offer comfort while grieving, distract us from anxiety, help us cope with insomnia and act as a normal social companion.
Having a pet on-hand can have a huge impact on your mental well-being. It’s not just for people with four-legged friends, it can have benefits for anybody who wants to feel calmer and less strained. Dr Zito says research shows that pets can even help cope with a variety of negative states, including grief, stress, and loss.
How pets can reduce risk of allergies
Did you know that having a pet may help reduce allergies in children? A US study found that growing up with a dog was associated with a 24% lower risk of developing allergies by the time they reached 5 years, and a 33% reduced risk by the time they reached 14.
Having a pet – including a dog – can help improve the health of children. US studies have shown that children who have lived with a dog since an early age often grow up to have stronger immune systems, which are better able to fight off allergens.
People like pet people
It’s well known that having a pet will make people more approachable and friendlier. “Pets enhance social connectedness and social skills”, Dr Ziti says, adding that walking your dog is also a great way to meet new people. Finally, it’s been well documented that walking leads to increased levels of oxytocin, which makes one feel more sociable and inclined to trust others. “That all works together to make you more likely to talk with people and connect with people if you are out walking a dog.”
Dogs are a great way to connect with other people, making you more charming and likable. “Pets enhance social connectedness and social skill, and are a great conversation starter,
” Dr. Ziti explains. People walking dogs are perceived as more trust-worthy and likeable and the act of walking produces oxytocin, which makes you feel sociable and inclined to trust others around you. “That all works together to mean you’re more likely to talk to people, and connect with them,” Melanie says, “if you are out walking your dog.”