Apr 29, 2016
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Health Benefits of Owning a Pet

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Health Benefits of Owning a Pet
by Gena Sayers

Owning a pet has many health benefits, and everyone should consider the possibility of owning some type of pet. The most important health benefit is stress reduction. According to WebMD (2015), interacting with a pet or watching a pet play lowers cortisol levels while increasing serotonin levels, resulting in relaxing the bodies natural stress response. Stress reduction is one of those highly important long term body maintenance items that can ultimately keep you from having a stroke or heart attack, as stress reduction is also blood pressure reduction.

Owning a pet, especially the type that needs to be walked on a regular basis, can help improve lifestyle habits of the owners. Walking is good for everyone, and a healthier lifestyle can help in the reduction of cholesterol, though following a healthy diet and regular exercise is always recommended. Petting animals has also been known to help fight the effects of depression, and pets have been “prescribed” to those recovering from depression. The effects of taking care of another being grooming, feeding, petting, and playing with it, can help one feel better about the way time is spent.

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Health Benefits of Owning a Pet

Health Benefits of Owning a Pet

Children raised around animals tend to have fewer allergies as well, and tend to have stronger immune systems. Dogs are also being trained as “snack alert” animals for patients with diabetes as some are able to detect a drop in blood sugar before an actual attack occurs. Dogs for Diabetics is currently training dogs in this method of blood sugar monitoring (WebMD, 2015).

Mental health therapists are also using animals within their counseling sessions. Sometimes the presence of a dog can make people more comfortable, indicate something may be on the mind with remarks about the animal, and more importantly reflect how words may affect others. One therapist has a dog present at sessions who is trained to want to be let out when the couple seeking therapy started to argue. This shows the couple how their arguing may be affecting their children.

Animals, especially dogs and horses, have been proven beneficial for children facing challenges of ADHD and Autism Spectrum Disorder. The high energy needs of the ADHD kids can be met through playing with an animal such as a playful dog. Animals tend to connect well with kids facing Autism Spectrum challenges, and calming effects of working with the animals have been displayed (WebMD, 2015). Overall it is clear that pet ownership has many calming benefits that everyone in this crazy, chaotic, hectic, busy world needs. Research to find out which kind of pet will be most beneficial to your needs and reach out today.

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