Having a pet has definite advantages when it comes to your health. They provide companionship and give their owners a reason to smile. The unconditional love and acceptance that animals provide is something that can’t be duplicated.
The results of a study conducted by the National Institute of Health (NIH) point to pet ownership as being good for the owner’s heart. The Institute looked at 400 people who had experienced a heart attack. The people who owned dogs were less likely to die as a result of the event than those who didn’t own one.
A second study looked at whether people who own dogs exercise more than than people who don’t own pets. The results indicated that dog owners got more exercise and were less likely to be obese.
The third study that the NIH surveyed 200 married couples. It found that pet owners generally had lower blood pressure and heart rates. They also found it easier to deal with stressful situations that came up in their lives.
Not only does pet ownership lower the risk of heart disease, but it helps to beat stress and reduces the likelihood of getting headaches. Pet owners are also less likely to become depressed.
Before You Adopt a Pet
Owning a pet brings with it a big responsibility. Although there are definite benefits to owning an animal, the decision to bring an animal into your home should be made for the right reasons. They require regular care for life, including feeding/watering, grooming and exercise.
Pets also need the company of their humans and if your lifestyle is not conducive to spending time with the pet regularly, it may not be the right choice for you. You can still interact with animals and do some good by volunteering at the local animal shelter. That way, you are getting the benefits that come with interacting with an animal without having to commit to full-time ownership.