July 25, 2016


Top 5 Reasons Why Pets are Good for Your Health!

by Aili V. Heintz, DVM

Kat and Oliver-2Pets are not only cute and cuddly, but they may actually even be good for your health! Below are the top 5 reasons that your pet could be helping you live a longer and healthier life.

  1. Pets help reduce stress and fight depression.

    Studies have shown stressful situations have less impact on pet owners than on people without pets. Take your pet for a walk or have some extra snuggle time, and watch that stress melt away. Pets also help to promote an interest in life and fight loneliness. The bonding that we experience with our pets can also foster a sense of security. Some days there is nothing more uplifting than a few extra puppy or kitty kisses!

  2. Pets help prevent heart disease and lower blood pressure.

    According to research performed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institute of Health (NIH), people who own pets have an overall decreased blood pressure, decreased cholesterol levels, and decreased triglyceride levels. All of these can lead to a decreased risk of heart attacks in the future.

  3. Pets can be an instant ice-breaker.

    How many times have you seen a cute dog out walking and stopped to pet the dog and talk to the person walking it? Pets help to provide a great way to meet new people with shared interests and to help with overall socialization skills.

  4. Pets can help to decrease a child’s risk for pet allergies.

    Christa and Ike outsideIt may seem counter-intuitive that a pet can actually help decrease allergies problems. However, James E. Gern M.D., a pediatrician at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, has conducted numerous studies that show that having a pet in the home can actually lower a child’s chances of developing related allergies by as much as 33%. His studies have also shown that children exposed to animals at a young age tend to develop stronger immune systems.

  5. Pets help to increase your level of exercise.

    What a better way to get up and get moving than to take your dog for a walk? Most dogs need to go for walks multiple times a day to go to the bathroom, why not make it a nice walk and stretch your legs at the same time. If you don’t have a dog, you’re not off the hook!  Many pets, including cats, could benefit from added play time even if it is just batting a toy around. Get up off the couch – it’s good for you and your pet!

Pets love unconditionally and are always there to help comfort you. So if you are down or not feeling well, take some extra time to cuddle your pet or go for a walk…it’s good for your health!