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How Pets Are Good for Your Health

How Pets Are Good for Your Health

23rd Apr 2020

This may not come as much of a shock to some of you, but pets have been proven to be good for your health.

I mean think about it. When you’re on the couch with your pet and cuddling with them, do you ever notice how you feel? It’s probably pretty good, right?

You might feel calm and content, and probably even happy.

This isn’t just a coincidence. This is science.

There’s more to it than just feeling good because you’re with your pet.

The actual responses that are happening within your body when you’re with your beloved pets are:

  • Blood pressure decreases
  • Cholesterol levels drop
  • Triglycerides drop
  • Mood improves, especially depression and feelings of loneliness
  • Pain decreases in fibromyalgia sufferers, with as little as 15 minutes of cuddle time
  • Less allergies and asthma in kids growing up with pets since infancy.

Not Just You

You’re not the only one who benefits from getting love from your pet. Your pet even feels better too!

There’s a coherence of both human and dog heart rates dropping nearly simultaneously when they come together after being separated.

Another study shows that oxytocin levels increase in both dog and humans when they interact. Oxytocin is a major “feel good” hormone that stimulates social bonding, relaxation and trust, and wipes away stress. Dogs and their owners experience oxytocin release simultaneously when they interact or even just gaze into each other’s eyes!

Cats: Good For Your Heart

Maybe you’re a cat person, or just enjoy having the best of both worlds. Having a cat can lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases, including death from heart attack and stroke. In this study from 2009, researchers concluded,

“Acquisition of cats as domestic pets may represent a novel strategy for reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases in high-risk individuals.”

Service Dogs: New Ways to Be of Service

When you’re out for a walk with your dog, you know they are notorious for stopping and sniffing everything in their path. Their noses are going a mile a minute and sometimes they even stop in their tracks if they think they’ve found something.

It’s easy to notice they smell more than we humans do. But do you know just how much more receptors dogs have than humans?

There’s an incredible difference. Dogs have about 300 million olfactory receptors in their noses, while we have a mere 6 million.

Because their sense of smell is so much better than ours, they can actually sniff out cancer. Chemistry changes when cancer is growing, and the dogs can pick up on chemical signals in breath, urine, and sweat. They can be trained to pick up these volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in both early stage and more advanced cancers.

Your dog is not only there to love you and provide comfort, but can even help detect problems within your body before you even realize it.

Giving love and attention to our dogs is a benefit in itself, aside from the fact that our health is actually improving while we do it. Our pets help us when we’re feeling down, and even aid in our health whether we realize it or not. We now have the perfect reason to cuddle with our dogs even more than we already do.