two cats and two dogs posing for picture

For some people, coming home to their pet is the best part of their day. Pets are great for a lot of reasons, but did you know that owning a pet can provide significant health benefits? Pets can have a positive impact on a person’s physical, as well as mental health, and a few of those health benefits are listed below.

1. Increases Physical Activity

Owning a pet gives you a reason to get up and be active. According to the American Health Association Journal, dog owners engaged in significantly more walking and physical activity than nonowners and were 54% more likely to obtain the recommended level of physical activity. As we age, it’s important to keep exercising in order to maintain good overall health, and pets are a great way to motivate you to get up and get moving.

2. Lowers Blood Pressure

According to the American Health Association Journal, an Australian study of 5,741 participants attending a free screening clinic found that pet owners had significantly lower systolic blood pressures than pet nonowners. This low blood pressure could be accounted for by the calming effect pets have on people as well as the higher physical activity rate of pet owners.

3. Reduces Stress

Pet lovers everywhere know how happy playing with their pet makes them. Interacting with your pet can increase levels of serotonin and dopamine, which calm and relax. After a stressful day, sometimes the best medicine is cuddling with your furry friend.

4. Increases Social Interaction

Seniors are at risk for developing depression due to loneliness. Owning a pet provides companionship and gives purpose to a person’s life. Although they can’t speak to you, pets are always there for you when you’re feeling down.

Owning a pet not only provides benefits to the pet owner, but also to the pet. There are many animals at humane societies and shelters waiting for a loving home. When you open your heart and home to a pet, you change not only your life, but the animal’s life for the better.

Source: HelpGuide

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