Posted March 24, 2014
There is nothing like a friendly greeting from the family pet to make you feel like a million bucks. Although pets require an investment of time and money, new research demonstrates that the health benefits received in return are worth it. Everyday Health recently published a list of six ways pets enhance our lives.
Americans dote on their pets
Americans love their pets. Approximately 65 percent of households have a pet and spend more than $35 billion caring and feeding them. Although pets provide significant companionship and unconditional love, researchers have discovered another important benefit – pets are good for our health.
Six health benefits
Pets help improve their owners’ mental, physical and emotional health while also helping people to fight diseases or adjust to chronic health problems. Consider the following ways that pets improve people’s health:
- Lower risk of allergies – Historically, medical professionals thought that kids with allergies should avoid being around pets, especially furry animals; new research indicates that kids who grow up around farm animals, dogs or cats tend to have stronger immune system chemicals and are at lower risk of developing allergies, asthma or eczema
- Reduce stress – Recent surveys demonstrate that 55 percent of people who spend time with their pets were more relaxed and less worried about job security, finances and other problems; spending time with pets helps people feel more relaxed and contented
- Improve heart health – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that pet owners have lower triglycerides, blood pressure and heart rates
- Lower blood pressure and cholesterol – Researchers at Queen’s University, Belfast, Northern Ireland, report that dog owners tend to have lower blood pressure and cholesterol because they walk their dogs regularly; the increased physical activity and social connections made by meeting other dog owners helps improve people’s physiological and psychological health; dog owners experience fewer ailments and serious medical problems
- Cope better with serious illness – Having a pet to care for each day forces people who are dealing with serious health problems to keep moving and live each day, so they end up taking better care of themselves, too
- Improve fitness – The New York Times reports that dog owners tend to exercise regularly and show higher levels of improved physical fitness
Watch our new videos about your dog’s oral health
As a dental insurance provider, Ameritas is constantly educating people on the importance of practicing good dental hygiene. So what does this have to do with your pets? Many pet owners don’t realize that the dental health of their pets has a direct impact on the pet’s overall health. That’s why we developed a video series about caring for your dog’s oral health. Animals bring joy into our lives and we want to make sure we return the favor. It’s just one of the many ways we’re fulfilling life.
To learn more about caring for your pet, read these other blog posts: