Not only does owning a pet prove to decrease levels of depression and anxiety, but it has also shown major health benefits such as decreasing blood pressure, increasing immune systems, and decreasing chances of a stroke or heart attack.
1) Pets Can Reduce Your Stress
There are many studies that have tested the benefits of having a pet around. Most suggest that stress levels decrease while performing difficult tasks if you have a furry friend by your side.
Promises Treatment Centers for recovering drug addicts allow pets into their rehabilitation facilities. The CEO of the facility recommends having a pet around to make the recovery process far less stressful for participants, which can make them less likely to relapse. Remember, in times of stress or difficulty, have your pet around and give them all of the cuddles!
2) Own a Pet & Lower Your Blood Pressure
The CDC suggests that owning a dog can lower your blood pressure, particularly for those with high-risk hypertensive conditions, which can be caused by stress. In times of stress or difficulties, owning a dog or a cat that is designed by nature to love you unconditionally, can help decrease stress. It is also believed that owning a pet allows you more opportunities to be outdoors and exercise, which strengthens your heart and lowers your blood pressure.
3) Pets Can Lower Your Cholesterol
The CDC also suggests that another healthy aspect of owning a pet is the ability to lower your cholesterol. It was found that people who own pets, in particular men, have lower levels of cholesterol and triglycerides than those without pets.
4) Pets Are the Ultimate Mood Booster
One of the best feelings in the world is coming home after a long day and being greeted by your furry pal! It is assumed that most of the physical health benefits of owning a pet may be caused by the immense emotional and mental health benefits.
Furry friends can also assist with other forms of therapy. Pets For Vets is a wonderful program for veterans who have the desire to add a new furry family member by matching vets with the perfect pet for their needs. Their methodology for pairing the perfect match is their unique philosophy called the Super Bond. The goal of the Super Bond is to create comfort and partnership between owner and animal to provide stability during this time of transition. Pets For Vets has a thorough interview process to ensure the needs of the veteran are met and that the Super Bond will be established, therefore, increasing the long-term success of the match.
5) Pets Help You Socialize
Nowadays, there are many social activities centered around our pets! From cafes to gatherings at parks, and clubs, there are plenty of ways to meet new people while also socializing with your pet. Even the simplest of activities, walking your dog around the neighborhood, allows you to see neighbors and meet other new people. Plus, people will likely stop you mid-walk to pet your furry friend! Dog parks are also a great way to meet people who are pet lovers!
6) Pets Decrease the Risk of Strokes
A study from the American Stroke Association found that owning a cat makes you 30% less likely to develop a stroke. In the study, 4,435 participants were followed, and after taking account of factors such as smoking, diabetes, and high blood pressure, half of the participants that owned cats were less likely to develop strokes. As previously stated, owning a pet reduces stress and anxiety, which ultimately protects your heart and lowers blood pressure. Petting a cat is believed to also lower levels of cortisol, which is the stress hormone. So, in moments of stress, grab your cat and love on them.
Ready to take the leap into pet ownership? Give the Westbrook Animal Hospital vets a call at (336) 584-9978 if you are located in the Burlington, NC area. We can’t wait to see you!