I think all of us pet owners understand the value their presence brings to our lives. Their unconditional love when you walk through your door is often just what the dr ordered after a hard day. But have you ever sat down and really thought about how much they help you when it comes to your body and your health? It’s actually quite fascinating how much owning a pet has an impact on our physical health.
Pets Keep You Active
If your pet happens to be a dog, then most likely you get the privilege of taking them on walks or running around the yard as an outlet for their energy. And since exercise isn’t just limited to gyms, classes, or races, you are getting a nice little health benefit from taking a walk or frolicking in the back yard with man’s best friend. In this study out of Western Canada, they found that dog owners walked an average of 300 minutes per week in comparison to those who do not own a dog who only walked 168 minutes per week. That’s close to a 100% increase in walking activity, which is a significant difference.
Pets Have A Positive Impact on Your Cardiovascular Health
Who knew that owning a pet could play a positive role in your heart health? The American Heart Association performed a study where they concluded that those who owned a pet were more likely to report an increased level of physical activity, lower blood sugar levels, and better diet. And those who’s pets were dogs specifically had the greatest benefit.
In addition to that, this article out of Harvard Medical school found that owning a pet can have a positive impact on your triglyceride levels as well as your blood pressure. And just the act of petting a dog can decrease your blood pressure.
Pets Can Help Reduce Your Stress and Increase Your Happiness
I mean, how can your pet not make you happier and feel less stressed?! They make you feel like you’re the greatest thing in the world, and give you all the lovin’s a person could ask for. (Unless your pet is a cat. You might get ignored instead.)
The bonding that takes place with your pet increases serotonin, therefore boosting your mood and outlook on life. And when you're feeling happy, you’re more likely to make better choices with your physical health, such as eating better and being more active.
If you are looking for ways to reduce the stress in your life, try owning a pet.
Pets Can Help Combat Loneliness
Loneliness can have a huge negative impact on our health. Pets give you a daily routine, they’re great company, and they give you something to focus on and take care of.
It’s much more fun to go on a walk, or get some physical exercise with a pet by your side instead of doing it alone. It brings a level of joy to your life that you might not experience doing it alone, and your physical health will reap the benefits.
It’s not like we need another excuse to add to our family of pets, but if they can help your heart health, your physical activity level, and your mental health, it sounds like a no-brainer to me.
Look for a pet that you are capable of taking care of and one that you have adequate time to spend with it. Some require much more activity than others, so choose your pet based on what you can handle.