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5 Health Benefits of Pet Ownership

Researchers say that people who own pets live happier, healthier and longer lives. Yes it’s true, our furry little friends, and not so furry too, offer us a whole host of amazing health benefits, both physical and emotional. For thousands of years pet companionship has been a fundamental and crucial part of human civilization. There is evidence that the ancient Egyptians worshiped cats and the early Chinese dynasties gave their dogs the same power as emperors. Pets have been used to heal, help us complete our jobs, and even guide us when one of our six senses has failed us. Without our beloved pets, it is hard to no what life would really be like; they love us unconditionally and they will always be by our side. Here are 5 other surprising health benefits of pet ownership.

  1. Pet owners, namely dog owners, have been proven to have lower cholesterol than people that don’t own dogs. This is mainly because dogs, and other animals that need regular physical exercise, like horses for instance, force us to get exercise too. Over time this can be hugely beneficial in keeping our cholesterol levels down, which can prevent future cardiovascular problems and heart disease.
  2. Pet owners have been known to have lower blood pressure too. Researchers say that when we pet, stroke, or play with our pets it can drastically reduce our blood pressure. This is because when we interact with our pets we are effectively reducing our stress levels. So if you’ve had a tough week at work it might be smart to cuddle up with a cat or dog to let go of steam and reduce your blood pressure.
  3. Another health benefit is that pet owners live longer. This might be a combination of different factors, but in general owning a pet opens up our ability to have compassion for others and gives us more confidence. This can give us a greater sense of self and we in turn take life less for granted. As a result, we take certain measures, like eating healthier and exercising, so that we can live longer, fuller lives.
  4. Also, it might be time to search for dog leashes or some cat toys, because the more pets you own the happier and less angry we are. They say that owning one or more pets can release endorphins in our brain, which can make us more mellow and less susceptible to losing our temper. In that case, pets are like natural anti-depressants.
  5. Lastly, people who own pets or have pets in the home are known to have a higher survival rate in the face of certain fatal illnesses, like cancer and heart disease. No one knows quite the reason why, but people who own pets are 2 to 3 times more likely to survive fatal illnesses, opposed to people that don’t own pets. Researchers say that this might be because they feel a need to survive for the sake of their pets, in return for their unconditional love.