By: Mission Healthy Living
April 10, 2019
We bring pets into our homes for many reasons: companionship, the happiness they bring, and in some cases, security. But what is it about our furry friends that helps our physical and mental health?
Pet ownership has far-ranging positive effects on the body and mind. The National Institutes of Health report that just interacting with a pet can “decrease levels of cortisol (a stress-related hormone) and lower blood pressure.” Hospitals understand these effects, which is why many employ therapy dogs, cats, and other animals to comfort patients and reduce stress.
Children in particular can benefit from pet ownership, from taking on the responsibilities of pet care to dealing with learning difficulties like ADHD (Source: NIH).
According to a study by the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, bringing a dog or cat into your home can:
Since April is National Canine Fitness Month, why not take your little buddy for a walk that benefits you both—or head to a local animal shelter?
Walking a dog is an excellent way to:
- Fit physical activity into your schedule
- Get children to participate in physical activity
- Build social connections in your neighborhood
The health benefits of pet ownership extend beyond just dogs and cats. Caring for everything from guinea pigs to fish to tarantulas can bring a joy to your life that advances every aspect of your health.