Wellness Wednesday: The Benefits of Pet Companions

Roll over Tuesday, because “Wellness Wednesday” is going to the dogs.

Today we walk away from the typical post to focus on our furry friends. You heard me right! Today is all about Fido (or Fifi, we don’t discriminate), and the benefits that come with caring for and loving a pet!

Not only do pets provide you with affection, companionship, love and understanding 24/7, they’re also mentally and physically beneficial to your health.

Having a furry baby not only lowers your blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels, but it gives you a reason to burn some calories and spend time with other people. Whether you’re walking little Skippy or he’s walking you (Who doesn’t like to be dragged around the neighborhood?!), you get a chance to meet people, like the new mom down the street (especially if he drops a conversation piece on her lawn) or other neighborhood dog lovers.

Because caring for pets lowers blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels, they are excellent for individuals who have survived heart attacks or are working to avoid them. In fact, having a pet actually raises your odds of heart attack survival from 1 in 87 to 1 in 15. Amazing right?!

Further, studies show that those with pets get sick less frequently and recover more quickly from an illness. And, overall, those individuals spend less time in the hospital than pet-free folks.

Just having your fuzzy companion with you has been known to lower stress levels greatly, and being a mom of three rambunctious kids, I completely understand how priceless that is.

High amounts of stress can lead to decreased productivity, frequent insomnia, headaches and overeating. Stress can also boost your risks of diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and obesity. So, when you’re overwhelmed, head for your best friend and give her a big hug! You’ll both feel better for it.

Not only is having a pet beneficial for you, but it benefits your children as well. Recent studies actually show that infants and children who grow up in homes with pets are less likely to develop allergies and asthma.

Sounds crazy, right?

The proof is in the pudding. One study done in households that had animals with fur, such as cats and dogs, showed evidence that infants were less likely to develop eczema and pet allergies. Further, those children born into a home with animals had stronger immune systems.

With all the amazing information out there about animals and their benefits to your health and life, why not consider having a loving family pet? There are many wonderful animals just waiting for a home at your local animal shelter!

Can I get a paw up?

~Amy~

Photos: flickr.com/photos/loop_oh/5603046108 & flickr.com/photos/overdrive_cz/388999285
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Comments

  1. They’re the best stress-buster. I love it when my tabby, Chicken, jumps over to my lap for petting. Sweet! Sweet! Sweet!
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  2. a post after me own heart. i have two rescues: cleo the cat and bailey the dog. LURVE them!

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