If you have a pet, you’re familiar with that great feeling you get when your furry friend greets you at the door at the end of a long day. Our pets provide tremendous emotional support and unconditional love. However, did you also know that your furry friend can benefit your physical health as well?
The old thinking was that if you had a pet with children in the home, the children would become allergic to your furry friend. However, a growing body of research suggests that children growing up in a home with a dog or cat or those who live on a farm and are exposed to large animals have less risk of developing asthma and allergies, according to WebMD.
Not only are pets great emotional support, but research suggests that they may also be good for your heart’s physical health as well. According to CNN, a number of studies indicate that owning a pet may lower the risk of cardiovascular disease. Some studies also suggest that pets may help lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels and that pet owners who have heart issues are more likely to survive heart attacks.
Keep the Brain Sharp
Research suggests that seniors who have a dog or cat may have better cognitive functioning than those who don’t. Specifically, one study showed that seniors who had a dog or cat had better executive function than those who did not, according to Reader’s Digest. Executive functions include the skills you need to use past experiences to decide how to act, pay attention, and remember details.
Lower Blood Pressure:
Research indicates that petting a cat or dog is effective for lowering blood pressure. Additionally, research has shown that even just looking at a pet can lower blood pressure. For instance, watching your fish swim around in its tank may be enough to help lower your blood pressure.
Sharing your home with a furry companion is not only beneficial for your mental health, it benefits your physical health as well. Having a pet can improve cognitive functioning in seniors, lower blood pressure, protect your heart, and help prevent against the development of asthma and allergies in children.