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Can Pets Improve Our Health?

beagle running in the grass

Studies have suggested that owning pets can help us live longer.

Those of us who own pets know just how much our animal friends bring to our lives.  However, many of us may be surprised to know that studies have shown that pets can actually improve our health and may help us live longer.  While this research is not conclusive, the findings are still interesting to consider.  Here is how owning pets could help us stay healthy longer.

  • Pet Ownership and Improved Heart Health

Studies show that pets seem to have an especially strong impact on their owners’ heart health. One study showed that dog owners were much more likely to be alive one year after a heart attack than non-dog owners. Another study showed that cat owners had a decreased risk of heart attack, stroke, and cardiovascular disease as compared to people who did not own cats. Finally, there is also a study that showed that having a pet dog in the room lowered heart rates under stress more than blood pressure medication.

  • Other Health Benefits of Owning Pets

Pets also seem to have a positive impact on their owners’ mental health.  For instance, studies have shown that pets can help to improve our feelings of depression, low self-esteem, stress, and loneliness.  The mental health impact of pets is especially important for elderly people, and many nursing homes and assisted living facilities are now introducing pet therapy programs for their residents.  Recently, studies have shown that animal-assisted therapy in nursing homes appears to help to reduce symptoms of depression, agitation, and aggression in patients with dementia.

At www.cdc.gov they state that household pets create

  • Decreased blood pressure
  • Decreased cholesterol levels
  • Decreased triglyceride levels
  • Decreased feelings of loneliness
  • Increased opportunities for exercise and outdoor activities
  • Increased opportunities for socialization

We at The Maria Sanchez Show hope you will join us as we learn more about the health benefits of pet ownership.  Don’t forget to check out our latest program, Shadow Politics with Senator Michael D. Brown. Tune in on Sundays at 4:00 p.m. PDT/7:00 p.m. ED

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