How Your Pet Benefits Your Health

Spending time cuddling on your couch with your pet is a sure way to improve your mood, so you already know how much your dog or cat benefits your mental and emotional wellbeing. You might be surprised to learn that owning a pet can also be quite beneficial to your physical health. According to Health Magazine, the bond and companionship you have with your pet can reduce stress, lower your risk of certain illnesses and diseases, and boost your levels of fitness. At 5 Points Animal Hospital, we love taking good care of pets in the East Nashville area. We also love teaching their human companions about important health practices, which is why we would like to tell you more about how your pet benefits your health.

Reduce Stress

In today’s fast-paced world, people are always looking for easy ways to deal with stress. One of the best ways to lower the amount of stress in your life is surprisingly simple. According to Rebecca A. Johnson, the director of the Research Center for Human-Animal Interaction at the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine, all you have to do is to be in the same room as your dog or cat. Just looking at your pet is enough to cause the release of the neurochemical, oxytocin, which can make you feel happy. This also will decrease your levels of cortisol, which is known as the “stress” hormone.

Lower Cardiovascular Disease Risk

Not only does spending time with your pet reduce your levels of stress, but it also lowers both your blood pressure and your cholesterol levels. Studies have shown that pet owners typically have lower triglyceride levels than people who do not have a cat or dog. This benefits men, in particular. After conducting several studies of the effects of owning a pet on the risk of cardiovascular disease, the American Heart Association (AHA) found that it does much more than reduce this risk. They also found an increased survival rate among patients with cats and dogs.

Improves Fitness Levels

Owning a dog gives you a very important reason to be more active since you should give him or her plenty of opportunities for exercise, such as going on daily walks. When you walk with your dog, you also have the tendency to spend more time exercising. Research has proven that, on average, dog owners walk twice as long every week than people who do not have dogs. Getting fit with your dog is not just limited to walking as you have many options, such as swimming, running, and playing Frisbee Golf to boost your (and your dog’s) physical fitness levels.

Being a good pet owner can help both you and your pet feel happier and healthier. To make sure your cat or dog is in perfect health, contact us at 5 Points Animal Hospital to schedule an appointment for a wellness exam. Our team of veterinary professionals are always here to help you with any of your pet needs.

By Dr. Janet Grace | Tagged with: Tags: , , , | Comments Off on How Your Pet Benefits Your Health

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