Dog, Cat and Bird.

Can Pets Improve Your Health? 

Every pet owner knows that when our pets are happy, we’re happy. They make us laugh, they warm our hearts, and best of all,

they love us unconditionally.

 

While we can’t communicate with them verbally, (although some birds such as the African Grey Parrot have an extensive vocabulary) most domestic animals are very intelligent and understand much of what we attempt to say. Dogs try to understand us, while cats generally pretend they don’t have a clue. Except of course, when it’s their idea! Hmm, sounds like some people, huh? It’s been said the average dog is similar to a 2 year old child and understands about 165 words. Imagine what a well-trained, that is, a dog that has a lot of one to one attention can learn.

Dog and Pet parent playing.

My dog is my shadow and rarely lets me out of his sight. He knows how to communicate his desires and usually gets his way! He’s also quite psychic. When it’s bath time I am careful not to say the “b’” word or visualize the preparation of his bath by picturing all the items I need to gather. If I forget to guard my thoughts I can find him hiding upstairs looking sheepishly at me from under the bed.

 

Researchers have studied the benefits of a loving pet partnership and found it has amazing effects on human physiology. I do not have to be convinced with data that my dog enriches my life.

 

Here’s a few of the physical benefits of pet partnership:

 

Lower blood pressure

 

Lower cholesterol

 

Decreased feelings of loneliness, stress and anxiety

 

Increased psychological well-being

 

Increased opportunity for exercise and social activity

 

While I strongly advocate pet ownership, I must express how important human companionship is to one’s overall health. Pets are much like vitamins and minerals; they can improve your health but are supplementary. They cannot replace loving support and positive communication with other people.

 

Resources

Health Benefits of Pet Ownership

by York News Times

 

Can Pets Help Keep You Healthy? 

by National Institutes of Health (NIH.gov)

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