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The Power of Pets

Wake Forest, NC

What is the effect of pets on humans? This article explains how pets have long-lasting benefits for humans and why pets are good for you.


Humans have been taking care of and having pets for thousands of years. But recently, the effects that pets can have on you has become a research topic studied by many experts. Polls, tests, and experiments have been done showing how pets can improve your physical health and improve your lifestyle overall.


Physical health benefits of owning a pet:


Increased physical activity: Dog owners are more likely to meet physical activity recommendations than non-dog owners. This is because dogs need to be walked and played with on a regular basis. A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that dog owners walk an average of 300 minutes more per month than non-dog

owners.

Maltese dog, health, pet sciences, pets, dogs, human-animal interaction

Weight loss and maintenance: Pets can help people lose weight and keep it off. A study by the University of Missouri found that people who owned pets were more likely to lose weight and keep it off than people who did not own pets. The study participants who owned pets lost an average of 15 pounds more than the participants who did not own pets.


Lower blood pressure: Pet owners have lower blood pressure on average than non-pet owners. A study by the University of Michigan found that people who owned pets had lower blood pressure than people who did not own pets. The study participants who owned pets had an average blood pressure of 117/72 mmHg, while the participants who did not own pets had an average blood pressure of 123/75 mmHg.


Reduced stress and cortisol levels: Pets can help to reduce stress levels and cortisol levels. A study by the University of Washington found that people who owned pets had lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol than people who did not own pets. The study participants who owned pets also had lower blood pressure and heart rate than the participants who did not own pets.


Decreased risk of cardiovascular disease: Cat owners have a lower risk of death from cardiovascular diseases than non-cat owners. A study by the University of Minnesota found that cat owners had a 40% lower risk of death from cardiovascular diseases than non-cat owners. The study participants who owned cats were also less likely to have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and stroke.


In addition to these physical health benefits, pets can also have a number of positive mental health benefits. For example, pets can help to reduce loneliness, depression, and anxiety. They can also provide social support and companionship. A study by the American Psychological Association found that people who owned pets had lower levels of stress, loneliness, and depression than people who did not own pets. The study participants who owned pets also had higher levels of self-esteem and social support.


Overall, owning a pet can be a great way to improve your overall health and well-being. Pets can help you to be more physically active, maintain a healthy weight, and reduce stress levels. They can also provide companionship and social support.


Works Cited



“7 Ways Pets Improve Your Mental Health | Healthdirect.” Trusted Health Advice | Healthdirect, Healthdirect Australia, https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/7-ways-pets-improve-your-health. Accessed 20 Aug. 2023.


“Animals Play an Important Role in Many People’s Lives and Often Help with Therapy, Rehab, Etc. Learn More about the Possible Benefits of Pet Companionship.” National Center for Health Research, http://www.facebook.com/nationalresearchcenter, 14 Jan. 2016, https://www.center4research.org/benefits-pets-human-health/.


“---.” National Center for Health Research, http://www.facebook.com/nationalresearchcenter, 14 Jan. 2016, https://www.center4research.org/benefits-pets-human-health/.


Robinson, Lawrence. “The Health and Mood-Boosting Benefits of Pets - HelpGuide.Org.” HelpGuide.Org, 2 Nov. 2018, https://www.helpguide.org/articles/mental-health/mood-boosting-power-of-dogs.htm.


Van, Anna M. “10 Mental & Physical Health Benefits of Having Pets.” One Health Organization: Veterinary Care for People and Pets In Need, One Health Organization, 23 Feb. 2021, https://www.onehealth.org/blog/10-mental-physical-health-benefits-of-having-pets.


https://www.psychiatry.org/news-room/news-releases/positive-mental-health-impact-of-pets. Accessed 20 Aug. 2023.

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