A New Year begins in a few days, and during this time many people make resolutions for better health. If you’re one of those who resolves steps to better health and if you’d like to not give your doctor as much money in 2017, here’s a simple solution: get a pet!
Did you know having a pet provides health benefits? Maybe not money-wise as far as many those insurance premiums, but certainly benefits in both physical and emotional health.
Various organizations, including the Center for Disease Control and other health groups, echo the physical and emotional health benefits that pets provide people. For example, having a dog increases your chances of getting physical exercise, such as walking, hiking, and stretching (think about when you throw the ball for Fido in a game of fetch).
Many studies show people with pets have lower cholesterol and triglycerides, lower blood pressure, and decreased stress. The simple act of petting a dog or cat helps us relax a bit. Pets can also decrease feelings of loneliness, fear and anxiety. Walking your dog can increase your socialization interactions, and pets in households with Alzheimer’s patients have been known to help those patients reduce their outbursts. People are less likely to suffer from depression if a pet or two resides in the home, and older people with pets enjoy better health both emotionally and physically.
Pets offer people many emotional and physical health benefits. Some animals can even help predict seizures, discover cancers, and alert people to low blood sugar attacks. Dogs and cats have been known to warn their owners of dangers, such as intruders and fire, and many have risked their own lives to protect or rescue their human companions. Pets give us their devotion and companionship, and we reap great benefits from their presence in our lives.
For more information on the emotional and physical benefits of pets, visit the following websites:
Gayle M. Irwin is a writer and public relations professional who volunteers with various animal rescue groups. She enjoys sharing her books and her passion for pets and the environment with others.