Dogs (and for others, cats) are truly man’s best friend—especially since science shows that they contribute to our state of well-being. Yes, it’s true, your resident Fido or Garfield look-a-like has been proven to be a blessing to both your mind and body—and not just because they’re instant magnets for good-looking animal lovers. Here are a few ways that your pet helps you stay healthy.
PETS LOWER YOUR STRESS LEVELS
A study by the University of Buffalo in New York has shown that calming interaction with a pet can help reduce stress, according to this PreventDisease.com article. The health of forty-eight stockbrokers, half with pets and half without, were monitored for the study. After six months, results showed that the pet-owning half had significantly lower blood pressure than their pet-less counterparts. Admit it—after a long day at the office, coming home to a bounding bundle of joy who can’t wait for you to get inside the house so that he or she can lick you all over is one great source of stress-relief.
PETS CONTRIBUTE TO BETTER HEART HEALTH
This Medicinenet.com article reports that pets are literally good for your heart. Several studies suggest that the rate of heart disease among male pet-owners in particular is considerably lower than that of non-pet-owners. Victims of heart attacks who have pets at home have also been proven to live longer than those who have no pets.
PETS HELP YOU RECOVER QUICKLY FROM ILLNESSES
According to this Sixwise.com article, your pet can actually help you rebound from illness more quickly. In a UK study involving women who were recuperating after a bout of breast cancer, majority of the patients agreed that their pets contributed to the improvement of their health by giving them social support and physical comfort. So if you’re getting over a serious illness, don’t forget to squeeze in some quality time with your cute little critter.
PETS CAN STAVE OFF DEPRESSION
Hitting a rough patch in your life apparently becomes more tolerable—and leaves you less susceptible to clinical depression—when you’ve got a furry friend to keep you company. This About.com article notes a study on men suffering from AIDS—according to the results, those who owned pets were 50 percent less likely to manifest depressive symptoms. Similar results were procured from a study on the elderly, as reported by this Mainstreet.com article. Senior citizens were proven to be four times less likely to get age-related depression if they owned pets. In a nutshell, your darling dog and pretty kitty can keep you quite happy!
PETS ENCOURAGE YOU TO EXERCISE
Aside from the cardio you get from walking your pet, this Mainstreet.com article shares that people who have pets “…tend to walk faster, harder, and longer, and are less likely to be obese.” Now that’s something to be thankful for!
It’s no secret that FN loves pets—our staff experiences the stress-relieving and body-boosting benefits of having furry friends firsthand. Here’s a mini-gallery of our very own beloved fur-babies—and how we think they keep us healthy!
FN'S SEARCH FOR THE CUTEST PET
Think your pet is cute and deserves a chance at the limelight? Female Network is looking for the cutest pet in this corner of cyberspace! If you're interested in joining, check out the mechanics here.
(Flashbox photo source: sxc.hu)