Do you want to know how can pets make you happy and improve your life? You have come to the right place. Pets can improve your health and well-being in so many ways. People who have pets tend to live longer, have a more active lifestyle, and experience less stress.
Cats and dogs can be a great source of happiness and can improve your life in many ways. Human-animal interaction has been proven to have positive effects on pet owners, helping them feel less lonely and increasing their sense of well-being.
Your pet is an additional family member and he/she provides true love and companionship for you. Dogs and cats are particularly good at this due to their high levels of intelligence and empathy. Not only do pets provide emotional benefits, but they can also improve your physical health.
Regular exercise with your pet, such as taking them for a walk or playing fetch, is an excellent way to stay active while strengthening the bond between you and your furry friend.
All in all, pets can make us happier by providing comfort, companionship, and support that no other human being could offer. Keep reading to learn what some of the health benefits of owning a pet are.
Benefits of owning a pet to live a healthy lifestyle
Owning a pet is one of the best ways to help promote healthy lifestyle habits in children. Early exposure to cats, dogs, or other animals provides them with a better understanding of how to care for and interact with living creatures. Pets also require physical exercise, which helps improve mental and physical health.
A way pets improve health is by providing companionship, reducing stress, and decreasing depression and anxiety. Being around pets also encourages children to get outside more often and increases their activity level.
This can result in better eating habits as well as increased self-confidence in children, helping them grow into happy and healthy adults. Let’s go over 5 health benefits of owning a pet:
#1 Lower blood pressure
Blood pressure is that pesky reading that every person who is starting to age dreads. If you’re lucky or take good care of yourself, you won’t have much of an issue here, but there are a lot of people who struggle to keep their blood pressure under control.
Now, you probably know that your dog can make you feel great. In fact, they can make you feel downright extraordinary some days. Now we have scientific evidence to back that up. Consistent interactions with a dog can lower your blood pressure by as much as 3.34 mmHg.
A systolic blood pressure reduction of even 2 mm is linked to a 6% reduction in stroke, a 4% reduction in coronary heart disease, and a 3% reduction in overall mortality. That is a huge difference! That all comes from just owning a pet.
#2 Provide unconditional love
Dog or cat owners understand the power of unconditional love and its ability to bring great joy and comfort. This same kind of love is beneficial in many other contexts, from nursing homes to hospitals to children with autism.
Animals provide companionship and a sense of security and can help socialize those who may not easily interact with others. One study even found that a guinea pig can be a calming presence for autistic children, providing them with sensory stimulation, emotional support, and comfort when needed.
Animal love has tremendous healing power for all who experience it, regardless of age or circumstance. A pet can help children with ADHD learn about focusing and self-esteem.
#3 Help lower cholesterol levels
Cholesterol is almost a common vocabulary word if you are over 60. It’s a huge risk factor for having a heart attack. Because of that, many people get very worked up over a high or bad cholesterol reading.
The good news is that having a dog can help decrease your cholesterol. Again, this is a combination of taking care of the dog and what that entails. I still think it’s worth getting a dog to see those numbers drop and to tell your doctor why.
Best of all, if you do end up having a heart attack, owning a dog is going to increase your chances of survival. “Social support and pet ownership, a nonhuman form of social support, have both been associated with increased coronary artery disease survival.
#4 Reduce stress and anxiety
Can a pet help reduce your stress levels? I don’t know about you, but my stress level could use some work. Our lives are super overwhelming, and therefore, our stress levels are usually sky-high.
It’s no secret that stress and anxiety can contribute to heart problems. So, how can an animal help in this regard? My dog occasionally adds to my stress, but they help to reduce it overall. Just one look at those puppy eyes and wagging tail puts a smile on my face.
Dogs lower your stress by increasing your serotonin and dopamine levels. That warm, fuzzy feeling you get when you see your dog after a long, hard day? That’s not just love; it’s all sorts of dopamine coursing through you.
That’s why they bring in service dogs for people who have a lot of stressful situations. Just patting a dog or having one in the room with you causes fewer anxious outbursts. That human-animal bond provides tons of health benefits.
#5 Prevent allergies and asthma
Preventing allergies and asthma is an important part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Children with weakened immune systems tend to develop allergies in their early stages of life. As kids grow, their risk of developing allergies increases.
It is important for children to interact with animals in order to build immunity against allergens. However, if the child has a history of asthma in the family, it is best to limit contact with animals as much as possible in order to reduce potential health risks.
Taking preventative measures like regular vacuuming and dusting your home, ensuring good air quality, and washing bedding regularly can all help minimize the risk of developing asthma in children.
Other benefits of pets that serve as a source of comfort
Recent studies have shown that regular contact with pets may help improve mental health by reducing stress levels and increasing feelings of happiness.
Walking your dog is probably the most obvious form of health risk prevention, treatment, and healing. Taking your dog for a couple of walks is an excellent way to increase your activity level.
Most people need about 2.5 hours of exercise per week. Even if you take your dog on a few 15-minute walks per week, you are going to hit that goal.
Increasing your physical activity will help you lose weight. In fact, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) announced, “What’s more, dog owners who have suffered from a heart attack have better survival rates following the event.”
In a 2009 study conducted at the UCLA Medical Center, heart failure patients who came in contact with therapy dogs for 12 minutes a day demonstrated notably reduced heart rate and anxiety.”
Walking animals to school is beneficial for your health and theirs, making it a win-win. You can also just go walk dogs at a humane society a few times per week. The dogs will be super grateful, and so will that heart of yours.
Can dogs really improve our heart health?
The short answer here is yes. Dogs can have a profoundly positive effect on your health. A Heart condition is something that nearly everyone is aware of, and if you aren’t, you should be. One in every four deaths is due to heart-related problems in the United States alone. That’s a staggering fact that no one should take lightly.
Who knew our cherished pets could be so physically beneficial to our hearts? I think we all had some kind of inkling that, emotionally, they helped us, but the facts don’t lie here. Our dogs have so many benefits for your cardiovascular system.
You don’t even have to own a dog to get these benefits; walk a friend’s or neighbor’s dog for them. Better yet, go walk those dogs without a home at the humane society. It will bring you pleasure as well as theirs. The verdict is in. Dogs really do improve our heart health and prevent depression.
Do pets make older adults happy?
Seniors who have pets can benefit both physically and mentally. Dogs, often referred to as “man’s best friend,” provide companionship and real love that can lead to better physical and mental health. Other pets like cats, rabbits, and fish can also provide companionship and a sense of purpose.
People with pets often feel calmer and less stressed due to the calming effect of petting an animal. Pets also provide motivation for adults to stay active, which has its own associated health benefits.
Studies have found a link between pet ownership and improved overall well-being in older adults. Having a pet provides companionship, emotional comfort, physical activity, and social contact—all of which are important for healthy aging.
Animals can be a great source of happiness for seniors. Studies have shown that having pets around can boost an older adult’s immune system, lower their blood glucose levels, and provide companionship. Pets require attention, which can help to keep seniors mentally active, providing them with something productive to do with their time.
Animals can also help to comfort seniors by providing a focus for their attention instead of other objects like television or the internet. Pets are a great way for older people to remain connected to the world around them and enjoy life in their later years.
Pets tend to improve mental health benefits
Having a pet can offer both physical and mental health benefits. An animal may even help prevent depression and loneliness in their caregivers. Taking a walk with a dog or playing with a pet brings joy to the owners, distracting them from every day worries.
Pets also require attention, care, and responsibility which helps the owner maintain structure in their lives, aiding in good mental and physical health.
The benefits of pets are so impressive that clinical settings and nursing homes are now allowing animals to be present in their facilities, both as therapy animals and companions for elderly individuals.
Rebecca Johnson, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, who runs the Research Center for Human-Animal Interaction at the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine, said, “The powerful effects of oxytocin on the body’s ability to heal and the growth of new cells make us more likely to be healthier.”
Watching fish swim can help you get that feeling of calmness. Even on walks, hikes, or in a dog park, pet owners frequently pause and chat with one another. Taking care of an animal can help children grow up more secure and active as they get older.
Pregnant women or someone with a compromised immune system is at greater risk of getting sick from a pet. As with any animal, pregnant women should refrain from adopting a new cat or handling stray cats, especially kittens.
Toxoplasmosis is a parasitic disease that can be transmitted to humans through cats. Pets come with many health risks, so it is important for you to get pet insurance in order to cover medical costs associated with any pet-related illnesses.
Getting a pet can also be a source of joy and companionship, but pet owners must be mindful of the potential risks involved. A pet can boost your mood, and it can make us feel loved and cared for. Overall, animals can help calm us and be a great source of joy.
Last Updated on 08/12/2023 by Karen Snow
Hi! I’m Karen and a certified dog lover. As a freelance writer and blogger, I do my best to squeeze in some time with my dogs, learning more about the way they act and how I can make sure that they continue to stay well-cared for by yours truly.
My dogs have helped me through a lot, and this is my way of giving back to them! Besides animals, I also love to travel and cook, having explored my country’s restaurants and unique places. Follow me as I show you all the amazing tips and bits of information I learn along the way about our furry friends!