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Why People With Pets Are Healthier and Live Longer

Happy woman with a dogPeople with pets live longer and happier lives. The reason for this is because most people become emotionally attached to their pet and want to be around it as long as possible.

There is scientific research linking having a pet and living a longer life. The reasons for this are both physical and emotional.

This article will talk about the physical and psychological effects that pets can have on a person, and why those people live a longer and healthier life.

 

Physical Factors

Owning a pet means you have to take care of it. Your cat or dog needs water and food everyday, but it also needs attention. This means walking your pet, or even just petting or stroking it.

Having a dog, or even a cat, that needs walking is great for the cardiovascular system. Going for a walk everyday lowers cholesterol, burns fat, and reduces heart disease. All of these factors contribute to a person living a longer, healthier life.

Just a few minutes of being around a dog or cat, or even watching your swim fish lowers your stress level. The hormone cortisol is a contributor to stress and studies have shown it decreases when you are around your pet. Additionally, serotonin is released from the brain, which is a chemical associated with happiness and well-being.

Even if you are not able to go for a walk or a run with your pet, the act of stroking it does wonders for the heart, mind, and hands. There is a calming effect when petting a dog or cat that lowers blood pressure and relaxes the mind. Stress means high blood pressure and high blood pressure means the possibility of a stroke or heart attack.

Dogs especially can do wondrous things to help people. They can be trained to do almost anything. From helping the blind, to being a support dog, to even sniffing out physical abnormalities like cancer. Dogs have been shown to sniff urine and detect bladder cancer better than the regular tests that doctors run!

Whether you are getting out of the house everyday for a walk, just petting your dog to relax, or having one there to save your life, there are a number of physical factors that a pet can influence to help you live a longer, healthier life!

Psychological Factors

There are studies out now that say people who own dogs are generally calmer, more relaxed than those who do not own dogs. Pets can be like a bestfriend that you can rely on to always be there and listen to you when you have a bad day.

One study measured the amount of a chemical called Oxytocin that the brain released when dogs were brought into a room with children. When the playful dogs were brought in, the children responded by becoming happier and healthier. Oxytocin is good for the body because it lowers blood pressure by activating the parasympathetic nerve. Oxytocin controls the levels of the love and bonding hormones so it is easy to see why pets can make their owner live longer and healthier lives.

Pets are also a social magnet. Walking a dog or cat through the park will give their owner all sorts of opportunities to interact with people. Positive social interaction is a huge part of living a longer and healthier life. By having a pet, there is an immediate interaction with people in a positive way that leaves everyone feeling better about themselves.

You don’t have to go outside with your pet everyday to receive the influences pets can have on your psyche. People who don’t like to socialize with other people are still more likely to have a healthier life with a pet because they can still socialize with their pet. People talk to their pets like they are real people and this gives them the same type of positive brain response as talking to a person.

People who live with pets are generally happier and when you are happy your body feels better. Having a pet around to talk to, pet, walk, and take care of makes you a better person because you have something else to love and nurture. The better you take care of them, the better they will take care of you. Having a pet will lead to a longer and healthier life!

About Joseph Giove

Joseph R Giove is a MindBody Wellness Coach, biomedical engineer and clinical hypnotist. For over 30 years he has helped people in all areas of health and fitness including weight loss, exercise physiology, addiction, stress and anxiety, insomnia, depression, diabetes, nutrition, chronic pain, and more. He offers a unique understanding of the mind and body to help you renew, recover from illness, and live optimally with vitality and vigor.

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