Recent studies have shown us the amazing benefits of having a pet. Not only does it help ease daily tension, but research has linked it to lower instances of anxiety and depression, and an increase in expected life span of an average of 5 years. Whether you are ill, injured or distraught, the addition of animals into your life will have a positive effect on your health.
The University of California Los Angeles Medical Center presented a study, led by nurse Kathie Cole, in which 76 heart failure patients were monitored before and after they received a visit from a volunteer, a volunteer plus a dog, or did not receive a visit. The results astoundingly showed that those patients who were visited by a volunteer and a dog experienced the most health benefits, compared to the other groups. For example, heart pressure dropped 10 percent following a visit from the furry friend and volunteer, whereas it went up by 3 percent for those visited by a volunteer alone, and increased 5 percent for those who received no visit.
Even children reap the health rewards of having pets in the home. Infants in a home with pets show an increased amount of immune system chemicals. In addition, several studies have demonstrated that children who have pets have a better attendance record at school. It’s believed that having pets as a tot exposed them to more illnesses, which boosted their immune levels for life. That’s a powerful benefit, if you consider the potential ramifications for missing too much school.
No matter what your age or health condition, its certain that pets have a lasting impact on improved health. If you are not able to care for a pet, but want to take advantage of advantages to having pets around, ask a pet owning friend if you can borrow it once in a while, or ask a family member to bring their companion by your home on a regular basis. If you don’t have access to a pet, contact one of the many volunteer groups that exist in your area.