4 Reasons Pets are Good for Our Health

kitten - pets are good for our health
Image by Dimitri Houtteman from Pixabay

This is a collaborative post

We all know that our pets make us happy – the way they welcome us home, their cute facial expressions, and how they love to cuddle us. But did you know that owning a pet can actually be good for you? Here are 4 reasons why pets are good for our health.

Stress Relief

Animals are great providers of stress relief.  Stroking the coat of your pet, especially if your pet is a cat, is known to lower your blood pressure and induce relaxation. A steroid hormone known as cortisol is released from the adrenal glands when a person is stressed and causes them to produce the “fight or flight” response. It can be harmful to your body if levels of this hormone are too high for too long. Enjoying time with your pet lowers cortisol levels and increases the production of serotonin – the feel-good hormone.

It isn’t only stroking a pet that lowers stress hormone levels; watching fish swimming around a tank or a hamster run on its wheel can have a similar effect on pet owners.

Reduce Loneliness

Many people get a pet for companionship.  Pets can reduce loneliness for people who live alone as the owner can talk to the pet and offload any issues they may have with their furry friend. Having a dog can also enhance a person’s social life, as when you take your dog out for a walk, you will find that people will stop to fuss over your dog, and fellow dog walkers will chat and share stories about their precious pooch.

Having a pet to look after can give you a purpose in life and make you feel important and needed like you would if you are a parent to human children. Ensure that you look after your pet as you would a child so that they live a long, healthy life and give you companionship for as long as possible. A top-quality diet is essential for your pet – feed your best friend healthy dog food if they are of the canine persuasion and suitable, nutritious food to all other types of pet.

Keep You Physically Fit

walking the dog
Image by pasja1000 from Pixabay

Walking a pet dog – or even a cat or ferret, will get you out in the sunshine, soaking up the health-giving vitamin D and burning off calories.  Having to exercise your pet means that you have to go walking every day come rain or shine, and this is great for your physical fitness too as it lowers blood pressure, strengthens muscles and bones, and improves circulation and the health of the heart.

If you have a pet horse or pony, riding it regularly will improve balance and strengthen core muscles. Holding the horse’s reins can increase strength in the hands and arms, which is particularly beneficial if you have arthritis or have had a stroke.

Alert You of Imminent Danger

Some animals, predominantly dogs, can warn us of imminent health issues.  Dogs can be trained to alert their owners when they sense that their owner is going to have an epileptic seizure or are headed for a diabetic coma. It is believed that humans give off specific scents when such health dangers are about to happen.

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