If you own a pet, you likely know how much joy and love they can bring into your life. And now we have studies that confirm how good they are for your mental and physical health. Research shows that pets enhance your oxytocin levels. This hormone enhances social skills, reduces heart rate and blood pressure, raises pain tolerance and boosts immune function. Moreover, it decreases anger, stress and depression.
Having a pet around has these benefits and many more. Read on to learn the impressive ways pets can contribute to a healthier and happier life.
They help you live longer
Studies have shown that owning a dog can lower the risk of death associated with cardiovascular disease or other conditions. Pets provide social support for people living alone, promoting physical activity, which can reduce their risks of death by 33%, unlike those who don’t have a pet.
This shows that pets increase your lifespan significantly. However, pets also deserve the same love they offer, so it’s essential to look after your furry friend as much as possible. This involves taking them to the vet frequently, ensuring they have a healthy diet and get the amount of exercise they need daily. Getting dog insurance is one of the best things you could do for your furry friend.
They help fight stress
When stressed, your body enters the fight-or-flight state, releasing cortisol that gets your blood and heart pumping. This was efficient in the past when ancestors needed these bursts of speed to protect themselves from real dangers. However, living in a continuous state of fight-or-flight due to the stress you experience at work, or the hectic pace of life takes a toll on your body. When stress takes control, it increases the risk of heart disease and other serious health issues.
However, contact with pets can counteract the stress response, decreasing stress hormones and, thus, your heart rate. Moreover, they reduce fear and anxiety, instead elevating a feeling of calmness.
They boost immune function
Your immune system’s role is to identify potentially dangerous substances and release antibodies to combat the threat. However, it sometimes misidentifies a harmless substance as harmful, resulting in allergic reactions, like itchy skin, red eyes, and a runny nose.
While you may think pets can trigger allergies, the reality is that they have quite the opposite effect on your health. Children who live with cats or dogs during their first year of life have lower chances of developing allergies later, as well as a reduced risk of asthma, bronchiolitis and pneumonia.
They improve heart health
Pets love you unconditionally, so it’s not surprising they also benefit your heart – the love organ of your body. Studies show that the time spent with your furry friend improves cardiovascular health, reducing the risk of heart disease. Evidence also suggests that owning a dog decreases the risk of death after experiencing a major cardiovascular event.
Cat owners also have a lower risk of suffering a heart attack. So, whether a cat, dog or other animal, studies prove that pets can boost your heart health.