Many of us at Smith Mountain Lake own cats, dogs, or other beloved pets that have become like family. We all know how our pets are great companions, but what many of us don’t know is that Pets Can Improve Your Health as well. I found this marvelous little list of all pets that can contribute in the way of better health for their companion people at Little Big Cat and thought it was worth sharing with you.
1. Help with Illness: Do you get sick frequently? Studies have shown that pet owners make fewer doctor visits, have shorter hospital stays, and take less medication than folks who don’t have pets! Pet interaction also helps reduce the pain of arthritis, minimize the side effects of cancer, and even help with Alzheimer’s Disease!!
2. Help with Heart Attacks: Want to get well faster after a heart attack? Dog owners are 8 times more likely to survive for more than 1 year after a heart attack than those who don’t have dogs! Increased survival rates are based on owning a dog, not on any other physical, psychological, or social factor!
3. Help with Blood Pressure: Want to bring your blood pressure down? Before taking another pill, reach for your pet. Interacting with animals helps lower and balance blood pressure problems. Petting an animal is soothing to the mind, body, and spirit. We become more focused on loving and being loved which increases mood-improving brain chemicals like serotonin and oxytocin.
4. Help with Weight Problems: Are you constantly on a diet? When you get hungry, play a game or go for a walk with your pet. Dozens of studies link higher levels of oxytocin with lower blood pressure, lower cortisol (the hormone associated with stress and weight gain), more positive social interactions, increased pain tolerance, and faster wound healing.
5. Help to Live Longer: Animals can even help lengthen life, and they certainly add to the quality of that life. In a study of nursing homes, when pets were included as part of the program, mortality rates were 25% lower than at facilities that didn’t include pets!
6. Help with Self-Improvement: Do you need a master teacher, love guru, or role model? Your animal companions know a lot about health and healing, loving and living life well. They are not bashful about asking directly for what they need or want. They take naps when they’re tired. And they know how to discharge energy through exercise and play.
7. Help with Fatigue and Depression: Are you isolated or feeling depressed, fatigued, or sad? Studies have shown that the more true friends and companions we spend quality time with, the less ill, depressed, and fatigued we are. If you have a minimum of 10 in your circle of friends, then statistics show that you won’t get fatigued or depressed nearly as much.
If you want an excellent reference for your pet’s health you can visit Little Big Cat Website and subscribe to their newsletter.