Pet Ownership: Yes, It’s Good For Your Health!
When you think about reducing stress, being more physically fit, and overall emotionally, physically healthy do you think of pet ownership? Research indicates that owning a pet may be beneficial to a person’s physical and psychological health. There has been a variety of studies to help determine the health benefits that pet ownership provides.
In a study conducted by, Dr. Deborah Wells from the Canine Behaviour Centre of Queens University, Belfast, Northern Ireland, published in the British Journal of Health Psychology, Dr. Wells reviewed research papers that explore the human/dog (pet) relationship. In her research she discovered that owning a dog/ (pet) can help reduce illness and help people recover more quickly when they do get sick. Furthermore, it was discovered that dogs have noses that can detect early warning signs of cancer, as well as early signs of seizures and hypoglycaemia (In a related but separate study in European Respiratory Journal sniffer dogs detected lung cancer 71 out of 100 times.).
Dr. Wells found evidence that people who adopt dogs and cats from rescues reported reductions in minor health issues such as, headaches, dizzy spells and colds as soon as one month after adopting their furry friend.
Dr. Wells explored the therapeutic role that dogs play in aiding the disabled, seniors, and sick children. She found that dogs can help people with chronic illness endure painful treatments, and schizophrenic patients feel calmer, and alleviate anxiety.
Dr. Deborah Wells also suggests a number of other reasons that dogs provide health benefits, the obvious being increased physical activity. Also, indirect effects include increased social contact and a psychological buffer against stress. In other related articles such as in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, they express that pet owners appear to be more physically fit, have greater self –esteem , and are better socially adapt.
Psychologist Dr. McConnell, PhD of Miami University stated:
"We observed evidence that pet owners fared better, both in terms of well-being outcomes and individual differences, than non-owners on several dimensions. Specifically, pet owners had greater self-esteem, were more physically fit, tended to be less lonely, were more conscientious, were more extraverted, tended to be less fearful and tended to be less preoccupied than non-owners."
Full article information: ["Friends With Benefits: On the Positive Consequences of Pet Ownership"
Allen R. McConnell, PhD, Miami University; Christina M. Brown, PhD, Saint Louis University; Tonya M. Shoda, MA, Laura E. Stayton, BA, and Colleen E. Martin, BA
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol. 101, No. 6. 10.1037/a0024506]
So, if you want to have a quick fix for better overall heath look toward your pet and say THANK YOU FOR BEING MY BEST FRIEND!
Ways Pets Improve Health:
- Pets Are Natural Mood Enhancers
- Blood Pressure in Check
- Lowering Cholesterol
- Cats and Dogs are good for the heart (bunnies too)
- Better Physical Fitness
- Fight Depression
- Cat owners have fewer strokes
- More Social interaction
- Dogs can help diabetics
- Stronger Immunity
- Dogs in therapy, children with ADHD and Autism benefit from dogs
- Cancer detection
- Seizure detection
- People with disease and disabilities can live functioning lives better because of dogs
- Overall calming presence, especially in cats
BETTER QUALITY OF LIFE (you know what I’m talking about pet lovers)!