Most people are unaware of the health benefits associated with keeping a pet at home. Those who have experience caring for a cat, dog, or other animal are clear about the joy linked to living with them. Studies have shown that pets have both mental and physical benefits. Here is how pets can aid relieve depression and anxiety, reduce stress, and boost your heart health.
Pets have evolved and have become adapted to people, including our habits and emotions. For example, dogs can understand some of the words we use, and they can interpret our tone of voice better, gestures, and body language. Just like a human friend, a loyal pet will be able to look straight into your eyes and know your emotional situation, try to understand what is on your mind and how you are feeling.
Pets, especially cats and dogs, help ease depression, stress, anxiety, and loneliness, encourage playfulness and help improve your heart health. Keeping a pet can help your children grow up feeling secure and active. They also give valuable companionship to the aging. Generally, a pet can provide real happiness and love to your life.
A pet doesn’t have to be a dog or a cat. If you are allergic to other animals, or maybe you do not have enough space, and you still want an animal friend, a rat can be ideal for you. If you need an exotic companion, go for reptiles such as snakes or lizards. An older adult might consider keeping birds as they are suitable for social interaction and help maintain a sharp mind. Watching fish in an aquarium can assist relieve muscle tension and keep your heart rate regular.
Research studies have shown that:
- People without pets are more likely to experience depression compared to those with pets.
- Pet owners have normal blood pressure during stressful moments. A specific study showed that when people diagnosed with borderline hypertension kept dogs, their blood pressure dropped within five months.
- Spending time with a pet can raise levels of serotonin and dopamine, which calm and relax.
- People without pets have higher triglyceride and cholesterol levels than pet owners.
- Patients with a heart attack with pets live longer compared to those without.
- Aged adults with pets visit doctors less frequently than those without.
Based on these therapeutic effects, pets satisfy the basic human need for touch. Even for the criminals in jail, there are some changes noted when they interact with pets.
How to stay healthy when you own a pet
As you play with your pet, feed and clean it up, it will be essential to clean your hands to avoid the contamination with germs pets can have. Use hand sanitizer or running water and soap for disinfecting your hands.
Make sure your pet stays healthy. Provide regular veterinary check-ups for your safety and that of the family. You can talk with your veterinarian about how to keep your pet healthy. Give it a good diet, clean water, clean shelter, and enough exercise. Be sure to vaccinate your pet, deworm, and pest control. Some pets can have fleas and ticks that can spread diseases such as Lyme disease, plague, or Rocky Mountain.
Keep pets and their equipment away from the kitchen, and make sure you disinfect their supplies. Do not use kitchen sinks and bathroom sinks to clean their equipment. Always dispose of your pet’s waste properly as they can contain parasites and germs that can be dangerous to a human being. You don’t have to touch pets to get sick from their germs.
Owning pets can have many benefits like increasing opportunities for socializing, walking around and playing with the pets, reducing blood pressure, as well as help manage loneliness and stress. However, they can have harmful germs that can cause diseases even when the pets look healthy.