Research indicates that people with pets live longer, happier lives. There have been many studies done on this particular subject and the results are always quite interesting. I had no idea that the simple act of stroking or petting a cat can lower the risk of a heart attack! All I know is when stress creeps into my world, I start looking for my cat, Sushi. I pick her up and bury my face in her soft warm furry body and she purrs. I feel better. She feels better. No problems were solved, no decisions made, but I feel better anyway.
Even Dr. Oz agrees with this…
Why Do People with Pets Live Longer?
Heart-healthy Benefits of Animals
Our animal friends often warm our hearts, but according to studies, they also protect them. A study reported in the Medical Journal of Australia found that pet owners generally have lower blood pressure, triglycerides, and cholesterol levels than people who do not own pets. Having a cat companion could cut your heart attack risk by nearly one-third! According to a study by the Minnesota Stroke Institute, which followed more than 4000 cat owners over a period of 10 years, being a feline owner can significantly decrease the chance of dying from heart disease. Pet owners have also been found to recover more speedily after surgery.
There is no doubt that special bonds develop between pets and their owners…watch this adorable short video.
Man’s Best Friend Motivates You to Move
Who needs a fitness coach when you have a dog? Nothing is more motivational to get moving than a dog’s yearning expression that says, “Take me out!” People with dogs exercise more consistently than dog-free people – and the benefits to your long-term health are many! First of all, you fit in 20 or more minutes of solid walking every day, a low-impact exercise that benefits your heart. You also get your daily dose of sunshine every day, which boosts your mood and supplies you with vitamin D. And you receive the uplifting, stress-busting benefits of being outdoors. What’s not to love?
Animal Pals Help Us Stay Healthy
People with pets seem to enjoy better overall health. Researchers know that joy and laughter trigger the release of chemicals in the brain that enhance your immune function. Pets make us smile and laugh with their amusing antics and lovable gestures. And petting something furry is a proven immune boost. A Wilkes University study found that stroking a dog for 18 minutes caused a significant increase in secretory immunoglobulin A (IgA), your body’s natural antibody against invading germs. Another study found that people with pets make fewer doctor visits, especially for non-serious medical conditions. A household pet could be just what the doctor ordered!
So the answer is yes, people with pets live longer because they are more active and less anxious. If you don’t have a pet or can’t keep one where you live, you can always volunteer to walk a neighbors dog for them or visit local shelters that may need someone to walk and play and cuddle with the animals. Service dogs have become very popular and there are thousands of health care workers who will testify to the amazing effects the animals have on patients of all ages.
Share with us a little bit about your pets and if you think they help keep you healthy…