Better Health And Living Through Pets

August 14, 2010

in Cat Health

Did you know that owning a pet could be a wealthy investment aside from being a wise one? Pets are known to be great companions and ideal “little buddies” in our daily lives, but research shows that they too can help enhance our bodies and minds due to their companionship. The companionship of pets is surely useful, as they can fetch, walk with you and bask under the sun on those lazy days, but you may not be aware yet of their health benefits, such as improved heart rate, lower blood pressure and decreased tension level. It’s a two-way process, really – love your pets and they love you back in the best way possible.

Most pet owners are young children and their families, and pets have been known to enrich their lives – but they can also be very helpful in assisting the elderly. Pets have been proven to help elderly owners extend their lives, stay healthier and avoid stressful situations. Studies from the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society dated May 1999 did a comparison of independent seniors with and without pets, and the senior citizens with pets proved to be stronger physically and mentally. Thanks to their pets, they live stress and anxiety-free lives and are more physically active and happier.

Owning a pet and maintaining it can seem like a lot of hard work for some of us. However, when a pet owner takes the time out to actually take care of his or her pet, including the usual maintenance, feeding, bathing and walking, these activities lead to a reduction in anxiety, tension and blood pressure, a reduction in heart rate and the proper release of beta-endorphins in one’s body. Taking care of your pets in the simplest ways can be a workout of sorts, improving heart rate and keeping your joints flexible and mobile by performing actions like changing your pet cat’s water or opening the doggy door to let your pet dog in or out. It may not be a real workout, but it helps pet owners stay healthy.

Of course, a lot of a pet’s benefits cannot be seen by the naked eye. Having a pet around the house allows for companionship for the owner, love and affection, and a play companion in the absence of children. Pets can step up to the plate as well for older pet owners without close family relatives or friends. When faced with a tough emotional situation, pet owners can turn to their pets for additional support. For those living alone by choice or by fate and for elderly folks in nursing homes, pets can provide much-needed social protection.

As stated previously in this article, pets are ideal companions for older people, as they provide support, keep them motivated and interested in living their lives to the fullest, and allow them to take care of routines like buying groceries or simply leaving the house. Indeed, pets’ interactions with elders are a great help to their physical health while at the same time keeping them stress-free.

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