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4 Reasons Pet Owners are Healthier

puppy

Have you ever owned a dog or a cat? If so, I don’t have to tell you about the joy that having a fuzzy friend can provide.

There’s truly nothing like the feeling of being met at the door by a wagging tail or the love you feel when a cat weaves its way around your feet.

But did you know pets can have a huge impact on your health too?

It's true! There are studies that show having a pet lowers your risk of having heart disease and that's just the start.

4 Ways Pets Improve Your Health

1. Pet Owners Have Lower Blood Pressure woman shaking paw of golden retriever in park reasons-pet-owners-healthier

There have been many studies on the health effects of owning pets. Almost all have shown that having a cat or dog can lower blood pressure.

One study done in Australia showed that pet owners had 3% lower blood pressure than non-pet owners who had the same body mass index and background.

Another study that looked at married couples found that both partners had lower blood pressures than those without pets.

2. People Who Have Pets have Lower Triglyceride Levels

The same type of great results have been found in the blood lipid levels and average weight of pet owners.

One study showed that pet owners under the age of 60 had much lower triglyceride levels than non-owners. Their median levels were 109 versus 192 in non-pet owners.

Another study showed that pet ownership may cut the rate of obesity.

3. Pet Owners Get More Exercise man walking dog reasons-pet-owners-healthier

One of the ways that owning a pet helps to boost health is by increasing the owner’s level of activity. This is one of the best reasons for owning a dog.

Because a dog has to be walked, owners tend to get out and about much more.

A study done in Japan showed that dog owners are 54% more likely to get a healthy level of physical activity.

Another study done in Australia showed that dog owners walked and played almost an hour longer each week than people who don’t own dogs.

And a Canadian study showed dog owners walked 300 minutes per week compared with 168 minutes per week for non-dog owners.

The responsibilities of owning a dog end up helping the owner’s health. This holds true even into old age.

One study showed that older adults who owned dogs had far better mobility than those without pets.

4. Pets Help Fight Depression

Perhaps more important than the physical benefits, pets provide us with an unmatched level of unconditional love. This can fight depression and improve our overall sense of wellbeing.

Studies have shown that adult pet owners who’d had heart attacks had better one-year survival rates than those who didn’t own pets.

Their stress level was lower and their quality of life was higher.

According to Dr. Thomas Lee, Co-Editor in Chief of the Harvard Heart Letter, “The emotional benefits of having an affectionate creature are also one of the theories for why dog-lovers live longer.”

Not everybody is able to take on the responsibility of a cat or dog. Still, there are ways of getting the benefits anyway.

If you can’t adopt a pet, try volunteering at a local shelter. They will be happy to have help with walking, grooming, or feeding their residents, and you’ll be better off for it.

why pet owners are healthier

Yours in health and happiness,

Danette

P.S. Please share this with the animal lovers in your life and I love hearing from you in the comments below. What kind of pet do you have or have you had in the past?

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