How A Pet Can Improve Your Quality Of Life

Coming home to a dog wagging his tail or a purring cat at the end of the day is wonderful, and that is not just psychosomatic. Indeed, a lot of research exist to prove that having a pet can improve your quality of life. This happens in a number of different ways.

1. A Pet Can Lower Your Cholesterol

Some evidence suggests that having a dog can lower your cholesterol, which means they protect your heart.

“There is some evidence that owning a dog is associated with lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels. A large study focusing on this question found that dog owners had lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels than non-owners, and that these differences weren’t explainable by diet, smoking, or body mass index (BMI).”

2. A Pet Can Offer Stress-Relief

Having a pet, regardless of what type of pet, can help calm you down. This is because it makes us release oxytocin, a powerful “happy” neurochemical. Additionally, it lowers cortisol levels as well. Any pet, from a cat to a fish can have this effect.

“Also relaxing are the colors of both the fish and background inside the tank. Studies show that it can reduce blood pressure and emotional agitation. That is why they are displayed in such diverse places as dentist offices to nursing homes, restaurants and doctor offices.”

3. A Pet Can Lower Your Blood Pressure

When you stroke your cat or your dog, you make it happy. At the same time, this act lowers your blood pressure. In fact, a recent study showed that it helps increase the effectiveness of blood pressure medication.

“She found that in 24 participants selected at random to add a dog or cat to their treatment regimen, these cardiovascular measures remained significantly more stable during stressful situations than in 24 participants in the non-pet-owner group, who served as controls.”

4. Increased Fitness

This is the one that most people are aware of: if you have a dog, you become more physically fit because you have to take it for a walk. Studies have shown that dog owners walk an average of 300 minutes a week, compared to 168 minutes for non-dog owners, and that they meet recommended physical activity levels in 54% more cases.

5. Better Heart Health

Because of the increased activity levels and lowering of cholesterol levels, your heart health will improve as well. The American Heart Association has further confirmed this. They also showed that having a pet increases heart attack survival rates.

6. Allergy Prevention

It has been shown that owning a furry animal in particular can help to prevent allergies in children.

“Exposure to “dog dust,” or the dried flakes of skin that fall from Fido, may protect against developing allergies and asthma in later life by altering intestinal bacteria, a new study in mice suggests.”

7. Depression Relief

Next, having a pet can help relieve depression. It is believed that this is due to the companionship, and due to the fact that animals love unconditionally and don’t find fault with their owners. It also makes people feel more confident, which further fights their depression.

8. Chronic Pain Relief

Last but not least, owning a pet can help provide chronic pain relief in their owners.

“You cannot underestimate the power of pets when one is in pain. A pet comforts you and at the same time takes you out of yourself as you care for them.”

There are other benefits as well. For instance, having a pet brings the entire family together and makes it complete. But above all else, a pet provides you with happiness and enjoyment and ensures that you have something to look after that equally looks after you and makes you healthier.