Whatever pet it is you own, I’m a true believer that they are good for your health. Whether you have a giant snail, cat or an even larger pet like a horse, they all have their health benefits I believe. Let me explain it a little further.
We have a very beloved pet dog, also a few tropical fish too. Thinking about Bennett our dog first of all, his reaction to us when we open the door every time we go out, even if it’s just for a few moments, is always lovely. The excitement and way a dog wants your attention, you can’t help but swoop them up for a cuddle. Or when you come home after a hard and stressful day, you feel your worries fade away as you give them your attention, their food or have a sit down in front of the TV with them. Well, all of that helps to release the “cuddle chemical” oxytocin in both human and pet. Have you noticed how calm and soothed it can leave you feeling? This can be present in relationships with many animals, like stroking a cat, or giving a horse treats. Oxytocin is the chemical that helps that strong bond happen between pet and owner.
There are numerous health benefits of owning a pet. These can range from improved cardiovascular health to even a reduced risk of asthma and allergic rhinitis in children exposed to pet allergens, and a better overall physical and psychological wellbeing.
Increased exercise of daily dog walking, will not only help improve your cardiovascular health but also lower your blood pressure. It’s strange how you might put off doing exercise when it’s for yourself but when it is for your pet it’s different, isn’t it? Also, it gives you the opportunity to meet people on that daily walk, fellow like-minded pet owners usually. This is a good way to improve mood and reduce stress levels. I know when I have been going through the stresses and strains of life walking my dog has had a true effect on how I’m feeling. If you own a pet you are less likely to suffer from clinical depression too. So now I’ve covered the potential benefits to owning a pet with lower blood pressure, depression and cholesterol, I wanted to mention that dog owners suffer fewer minor ailments such as colds can you believe?
When we were out on a walk recently, we met a lady who owned a trained dog for PAT, a Pets As Therapy Dog. She frequently visited elderly people and talked so lovingly about the effect this had on men and women who were feeling lonely or unwell. Dogs can also act as an”early warning”, to detect an approaching epileptic seizure or sniff out disease – they even know if someone who has diabetes is going to have a hypo. Dogs are used because their sense of smell is around 10,000 times more acute than ours, it’s incredible isn’t it?
What pet do you have? Have you noticed any changes in how you feel, or any health benefits? I’d love to know in the comments below.