Health Benefits of Pets
Having a pet can have a number of positive effects on your health. In fact, it may even reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease. A study conducted by the American Heart Association found that pet owners were less likely to develop cardiovascular disease. The same study also found that pets reduced stress among aging adults and young children.
In addition to reducing stress, there’s a good chance that having a pet can actually improve your mental health. Studies have shown that animals offer opportunities for playfulness, which can lead to improved social interactions between humans. There is also evidence that having a pet can help alleviate feelings of loneliness in older adults.
A pet may also help autistic individuals. Therapy dogs are often brought into nursing homes to reduce stress. Although not everyone benefits from this type of intervention, it is a promising strategy.
One of the more interesting aspects of having a pet is the opportunity for a child to take on the role of pet owner. Many pets come with their own set of responsibilities, such as food and water bowls, but kids are typically savvy enough to keep their pets alive. Having a pet can also help a child learn important skills, such as responsibility and self-control.
In the pet space, the NIH is conducting a slew of large scale surveys to determine the health benefits of pet ownership. They’re also exploring the human-animal interaction for clues about its benefits. The NIH is especially interested in tapping into the subjective quality of the relationship between humans and animals.
A study in the journal Neuroscience found that human-animal interaction was the best way to stimulate the production of oxytocin, a hormone associated with empathy and stress reduction. Aside from the oxytocin effect, animals are also good at noticing changes in your mood, a trait which can be beneficial when you are experiencing anxiety.
While the oxymom may be a good pet to have, it’s still not worth the hassle of owning a pet. Keeping a pet is a financial burden and you need to make sure your pet is properly fed and cared for. You’ll also need to walk and groom your pet on a regular basis. You’ll also need to figure out the best way to keep your pet happy.
A study from Michigan Medicine and AARP has found that pets are not only the best way to spend time with your loved ones, but they are also good for your health. A survey of more than 2,000 Americans found that interacting with a friendly animal has a variety of positive health effects. This includes lowering blood pressure, improving mood and boosting the “fun-factor” of everyday activities.
The NIH and Mars Corporation’s WALTHAM Centre for Pet Nutrition are also studying the possible health benefits of different types of animals. They’re also funding studies about the science of dog and cat care, such as the benefits of pet grooming. The best way to get started is to talk with your veterinarian about your pet’s needs.