Lifestyles

Pets are good for health

Ever wondered why cuddling with your cat makes you sleep better? Or why you forget all your worries when your puppy decides to play fetch with you? Or laugh when your pet is all over the place trying to get your attention, while people do not even text back in time? You are not the only one. Pets make their owners feel loved, they are possessive about you, they give you a sense of having a little child and they are (literally), good for your health.

Often, people think quite the opposite. That they are unclean, their hair can cause you breathing problems, they can give you acne, etc. Well, here are some positive health benefits to having a pet.

Having a pet in childhood causes a child's immune system to develop accordingly, producing antibodies against the allergens from a pet (an allergen could cause skin problems like eczema, or inflammation of the air passages). So opposite to popular belief, having a pet actually ups your immunity.

When one feels like their pets help their mood after a long tiring day, or helped them feel better when they were gloomy and sad, it is not just a 'feeling'. Hormone levels in your body actually change when cuddling or playing with a pet. The levels of a stress hormone, cortisol, decrease during that time, and in return a relaxing hormone, serotonin, is released. Pets can actually help reduce your blood pressure and risk of heart attack, which has been indicated by various studies. In children who develop high blood pressure problems, it was found that petting a dog helped lower it. In a study done over a period of 20 years, it was concluded that people who had ever owned a cat in their life had 40% less chance of dying of a cardiac disease.

Dog owners will often walk their dog twice a day. That could make the average dog owner much more active than someone who does not have a dog! Add on a game of fetch and there is more exercise. Even getting your dog to bathe will help you burn off calories!

This is not all. While pets provide a great emotional support system, they can also help look after people with special needs. For example, a pet can act as an 'alarm' when a diabetic person gets hypoglycaemic (low blood sugar). Some dogs can sense a drop in blood sugar levels (when trained properly) due to any changes in the scent from that person. And they can alert their owner before he or she actually feels it happen. In people who suffer from seizures, dogs can also sense before it actually happens. When it does happen, they bark to get help for their owner and protect them until help arrives.

Similarly, having a pet dog can help children with autism. They give their owner a sense of protection and companionship that reduces their emotional outbursts and helps them interact better with other children.

Over the years, studies have proven how having a pet is good for your health. A pet's companionship and loyalty can be a great blessing.

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References: http://www.smart-heart-living.com/pets-and-heart.html#sthash.REZf65FO.dpbs