5 Benefits of Owning a Dog or a Cat

5 Health Benefits of Owning a Dog or a Cat

Last week I wrote a post about, “Be Kind to Animals Week.” Today I want to focus on the health benefits we can recieve from having these wonderful creatures in our life. I have two dogs and I cannot imagine life without them!

Dogs

With my two dogs Porkchop and Applesauce I know that having them in my life have contributed to me and my husband being healthier.

Porkchop and Applesauce - 5 Health Benefits of Owning a Dog - brendamueller.com

1. Bring laughter and smiles

This is my number one benefit. Applesauce is the funniest dog I have had the pleasure of knowing. She stamps her little paws when she wants my attention. She is very dramatic. When I ask her to come, she always stops and stretches her whole body before she will mosey over to me. She loves Porkchop. She climbs all over him and he adores her. They are quite the pair.

Porkchop and Applesauce - brendamueller.com

2. Improve the health of your heart

Dogs don’t just fill your heart; they actually make it stronger. Studies show that having a canine companion is linked to lower blood pressure, reduced cholesterol, and decreased triglyceride levels, which contribute to better overall cardiovascular health and fewer heart attacks.

3. Keep you fit and active

Are you trying to get those 10,000 steps in? You have a better chance of meeting that goal when you take your dog for a walk.

Porkchop and Applesauce on a Hike - brendamueller.com

4. Improve your social life

Dogs are now allowed in so many public places. I love this and I always have to comment because the dogs are so cute, beautiful or interesting. Everyone that I have met that has their dog with them are friendly and smiling.

5. Reduce stress

My dogs help me reduce my stress. Having them near me starts bringing my heart rate down. Taking the time to pet and brush them is also very relaxing for both me and the dogs. They love the attention and they can get all googly eyed when they get relaxed.

I sleep better at night when the dogs are on the bed. I find them very comforting and their breathing is very soothing.

 Cats

British Shorthair

1. Reduces stress and anxiety

Owning a cat can can be soothing and trigger calming chemicals in the body, decreasing stress and anxiety levels. Cats are known for being low-maintenance, so a simple petting session is often enough to relax owners and distract them from other worries.

cats2

2. Decreases risk of stroke

Studies show that cat owners are less likely to be at risk for having a stroke than any other pet owner. Scientists speculate this is also because of a cat’s low-maintenance ownership.

cats

3. Therapeutic benefits

The calming effect of owning a cat triggers the release of oxytocin, the hormone known for inducing feelings of love and trust. People going through difficult times of grief or mourning report that talking to their pet helps work out their feelings, since it is often easier to talk to something that won’t respond and can’t judge than to another human being. In addition, a study found that children with autism were more likely to be less anxious and calm while petting a cat.

4. Boosts immunity

Exposure to pet dander and fur in the house results in increased resistance to allergens, decreasing risk for allergies and asthma.

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5. Lowers blood pressure

Cat owners are known to have lower blood pressure than non-cat owners due to the calming presence cats provide. One study was conducted with a room full of cat owners. In the study, the owners would speak aloud, which naturally elevated blood pressure levels, but when the owners were observed speaking with their cats, their blood pressure remained constant.

5 Health Benefits of Owning a Dog or a Cat

Action Step: How do you feel your health benefits from having a pet in your home? Please leave your comment below.

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