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Why Having a Pet Can Increase Your Health and Well Being

by Kate Ferguson on December 13, 2015
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You probably already know that your dog makes you happy, but there are some pretty interesting reasons back by research about why our furry friends can increase our health and well being. Here are some really good reasons to get a pet.

They Can Reduce Anxiety

Simply petting an animal can reduce the levels of adrenaline in your body which can make you feel more calm immediately. Adrenaline gets particularly high when we happen to be anxious. It can also help you breathe more regularly and just plain chill out.

Petting animals also decreases cortisol and increases serotonin, both of which are going to make you happier. That might be able to help prevent depression as well.

You’ll Get More Exercise

Studies have shown that people who own dogs are more likely to exercise thanks to the fact that dogs need to get out and get their exercise in as well. One study found that 58.9 percent of dog owners took two or more walks each day, and 42.3 percent cumulated at least 30 minutes of walks each day even when it was split out into three different walks.

It Can Reduce Your Risk of Developing Allergies

Okay this benefit would have needed to begin back when you were a kid but it’s interesting to know and if you did have a pet, good for you. Research has shown that when kids are exposed to the allergens present from having animals like dogs and horses around, they are less likely to develop allergies and asthma in life. It’s an example of that whole building an immunity thing.

Your Blood Pressure Will Decrease

One small study found that men with hypertension (high blood pressure), could lower their blood pressure during stressed out moments more effectively if they had dogs or cats as pets. They might even help to reduce your cholesterol levels.

It Could Reduce Your Risk of Developing Heart Disease

The American Heart Association has found research that owning a dog could reduce your risk for developing heart disease which is a pretty big deal considering the fact that heart disease is the number one killer in the United States. Also, people believe that seniors with pets might benefit by receiving increased energy and purpose, both of which are big emotional drives to stick around as long as you can.

They Can Help You Meet People

Okay this one isn’t backed by science (that we know of), but it sure seems like it’s true. Taking a dog out with your whether it’s to run errands or to take on a hike and you’re probably more likely to have friendly exchanges with strangers than when you’re doing it alone on your cell phone. And as you know, making friends and talking to hot girls is great for the well being.

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