Thursday, November 7, 2013

The health benefits of owning a pet

We all love spending time with our pets, but recent studies have confirmed that taking in…
We all love spending time with our pets, but recent studies have confirmed that taking in a furry friend has real health benefits. Pets-- especially dogs and cats-- can get you moving, reducing the risk of strokes and asthma, and provide comfort if you're feeling depressed.
What can dogs and cats do for you?
  1. Keep you calm. Researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health conducted heart studies on pet owners. Their findings showed that pet owners exhibited several things essential for a healthy heart, including lower blood pressure, cholesterol and tri-glyceride levels. The studies also indicated that pet owners who had suffered heart attacks showed better recovery rates than those who didn't. It's thought that pet owners reap these benefits, in part, because dogs and cats lessen our stress load.
  2. Get you moving. Perhaps you're a bit bored with your exercise routine? Your pooch can make it fun. In a study of 2,000 adults, researchers from the NIH found that owners who walked their dogs were less likely to be obese than people who didn't own or walk dogs. Your pooch can be an excellent personal trainer.
  3. Reduce your child's chances of having asthma. This may seem odd because it's commonly known that pet allergies can trigger asthma. Nevertheless, when studying homes of infants at risk for having asthma, researchers discovered that infants in homes with cats were less likely to develop asthma as they grew older. The only exception? Kids whose moms were allergic to cats were three times more likely to develop asthma.
  4. Evidence suggests cats help ward off strokes. Cat owners tend to have fewer strokes. Researchers aren't certain why this is, but it's thought that this is due to a cat's quiet demeanor. If you have a kitty, you may already realize that your furry friend helps you feel calm.
  5. Fight depression. Your furry friend loves you unconditionally and makes an excellent listener. They certainly aren't going to talk back, are they? Petting that beautiful, soft fur calms you down, and doing those everyday things that pets need, like walking and grooming, helps to focus your thoughts and gives you a sense of accomplishment.
Pets give you so much, and ask for little in return.
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