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  • Writer's pictureSteven Hansen

Pawsitive Impact: How Pets Make Us Better People


Dogs lavish us with unconditional love. They jump up and down with joy when we come home. They snuggle with us when they know we’re feeling low. They perform the tricks we taught them to amuse us. They look directly into our souls. None of this is news to a dog person. Not only do pups give our lives joy and purpose, but they also keep us healthy, both mentally and physically.


No doubt most cat people would say the same thing about their feline sidekicks as well.


In fact, people who make room in their lives for just about any kind of pet – birds, fish, pigs, and yes, even reptiles -- are far healthier and happier than those who do not.


According to studies cited in HelpGuide.org, the benefits of caring for a pet go beyond just having a cute companion.


  • Pet owners are less likely to suffer from depression than those without pets.

  • People with pets have lower blood pressure in stressful situations than those without pets. One study even found that when people with borderline hypertension adopted dogs from a shelter, their blood pressure declined significantly within five months.

  • Playing with a dog, cat, or other pet can elevate levels of serotonin and dopamine, which calm and relax.

  • Pet owners have lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels (indicators of heart disease) than those without pets.

  • Heart attack patients with pets survive longer than those without.

  • Pet owners over age 65 make 30 percent fewer visits to their doctors than those without pets.

 

Having a pet can also make us more sociable, too. Every dog parent knows that walking their dog is not only great exercise, but also the quickest way to meet people in a new neighborhood. And rabbit, parrot, or hamster owners, for instance, are also more likely to connect with others of their same kind through clubs and other animal lovers social support groups.


Plus, kids who are raised in a family that includes pets are more confident and better at developing trusting relationships with others, sociologists say.


Share this post with people who love animals!

 

Image by Ian Kevan/Pixabay

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