Many studies have proven that having a soft cat or a warm dog is good for the human soul. Scientists have noticed that owning and handling animals significantly benefits health. Research has found that pets may help older adults live longer, healthier and more enjoyable lives.
There are a number of explanations for exactly how pets offer health benefits. First of all, pets need walking, feeding, grooming, and encourage lots of playing and petting. All of these activities require action from owners, which in turn, benefits the cardiovascular system and helps keep joints limber and flexible.
No doubt the debate cats or dogs will continue forever, but there are some good news for people who like dogs. According to a study, keeping a dog can actually prolong your life.
A team of researchers followed the health of over 3.4 million people with dogs. They were between the ages of 40 and 80, and the 12-year research began in 2001. None of the respondents had a history of cardiovascular disease. The research was conducted in Sweden, and everyone must have a personal identification number, all his hospital visits were recorded, and the keeping of a dog was compulsory. The researchers found that people who kept dogs had a lower risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, as well as other causes. This was true for people who have a pure-blooded dog of some sort.
On average, the risk of death in a household with multiple people was reduced by 11%, and the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease was reduced by 15%. The health benefits were even greater in people who lived alone.
Pets also aid people by providing some physical contact. Studies have shown that when people pet animals, their blood pressure, heart rate and temperature decrease. Pets are also a great source of companionship — they act as a support system for older people who do not have any family or close friends nearby.
It’s known that people who keep dogs are generally physically more active, and maybe this is one of the explanations.
This is supported by the fact that some hunting dogs require more exercise. Other explanations include improved health and social contacts that come with keeping a dog.
Pets also work as a buffer against social isolation. For people who have trouble leaving home to see other people, pets fill the void by giving people the interaction they need.
A few additional health benefits of having a pet include a reduction in stress and anxiety, improvement of mood, promoting heart health, enhanced immune system, a more balanced life, and motivation to eat and sleep better.