How a Pet a Day Keeps the Doctor Away
Being around pets is always fun, but scientific studies have shown us they can make you healthier and happier, too. Pets keep you active, help you make friends, and may even improve your love life by helping you find your perfect mate. Read on to discover the many ways science says pets improve our lives.
1. They Keep Us Active
Having a pet around to take care of, walk and play with keeps you moving. This means you can get the exercise you need to stay healthy and keep your weight in check. Just a 30-minute walk with your canine companion each day can give you the exercise you need to stay fit. Not only that, but you can even do other fun activities like yoga with your kitty or pooch in addition to walking or playing with them.
Don't forget to reward your furry friend for keeping you active. A study by Big Heart Pet Brands found giving treats to a dog during walks helped owners bond with their furry friend and increased both of their fitness levels, too. Try Milo’s Kitchen® Chicken Grillers Recipe for an extra happy pup!
2. They Make Us More Attractive
If you want to look your best, bring your most complementary accessory—your pet. A 2015 study published in "Animal Studies Repository" found that people who walk with pets tend to appear more attractive to members of the opposite sex than those who don't.
So while you're out for a walk with Fido, you may also find your perfect mate. Plus, you can see how your potential partner gets along with your best friend.
3. They Help Us Make New Friends
Meeting people can be hard, but our pets act as the perfect ice-breakers to social interactions with others. According to the study, "The Health Benefits of Dog Walking for Pets and People," dog parks and pet training classes provide great spots to meet new people and expand your social circle. And the topic of your pets can instantly start a conversation with fellow pet parents, too.
4. They Help Us Learn
Having pets around helps children learn. Several studies have shown children who participate in reading programs that involve pets do better in school and have fewer behavioral issues. The pets put the kids at ease while helping them focus on skills like reading in a fun, relaxed environment.
5. They Keep Us Well
While a vacation will help reduce your stress levels, so can spending time with your pets. Our furry friends help keep us calm and can even help lower our blood pressure. Their mere presence can also help relieve symptoms of depression and may prevent cardiovascular disease. They can even help people feel better during recovery from issues like post-traumatic stress disorder and addiction.
Having pets around is good for the health and well-being of older adults and children as well. An article published in the 2005 edition of the journal "BMJ" discussed a study that found that older pet parents had better physical and psychological well-being than those without pets. Children with pets were also less likely to be absent from school due to illness.
6. They May Prevent Allergies
When children are raised with pets, they tend to develop fewer allergies to them later in life. Several studies cited in the "BMJ" article found kids raised during their first year with pets were less prone to developing asthma and allergic rhinitis later.
7. They Make Us Feel Better About Ourselves
Having your pet around may improve your self-image. According to some studies published in the 2011 edition of the "Journal of Personality and Social Psychology," pets increase our self-esteem and our conscientiousness about others. So, not only do they make us feel better about ourselves, they help make us better people overall.
As pet parents, our dogs and cats depend on us for their care, but it's good to realize that they are taking care of us, too, by improving our lives. How does your four-footed friend help make your life better?
Photo Credit: "Human playing with dogs" by Alex O'Neal via Flickr.
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