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Do you remember the last time you saw a fluffy little kitten and caught yourself smiling as you watched it play? Or what about the time you laughed when the dog was unknowingly providing you entertainment as it explored?
Smiling and laughing are good for our health, but animals actually do more than just boost our feel-good oxytocin brain chemicals. Allergies aside, having pets in our lives offer up some great benefits! Maybe that’s why six in 10 Americans choose to own a pet. Here are some of the awesome reasons to have an animal companion.
Walking your dog obviously gets you walking too—which is great exercise of course. Having an adorable animal by your side also draws the attention of others around you. This can spark up conversations and lead to socializing you might have otherwise missed out on.
Studies that have been done on cardiovascular disease in pet owners and non-pet owners present results of lower blood pressure and triglycerides in people with pets. Those lower levels mean potentially offering a decrease in risk of strokes and heart attacks.
Can’t have a four-legged friend where you live? What about fish? With healthful drops in heart rate and lower blood pressure, people often feel a lot more relaxed and happier after watching quiet fish swim around in a simple aquarium or bowl.
Many dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, and even horses are registered as “therapy pets” because of the calm and reassurance they provide to those struggling with health problems like heart disease, cancer, anxiety, and other mental or learning disorders.
Even just a bit of time spent with a gentle animal causes our brains to respond well. A cat’s purr for example is a consistent pattern and frequency between 25 and 150 hertz. That rhythmic pattern and vibration from your feline’s purr offers a soothing calm which has potential to aid the body in reduction of anxiety and boost healing processes.
It’s as George Eliot has said, “Animals are such agreeable friends―they ask no questions, they pass no criticisms.” Whether it’s four-legged, fluffy, feathered, or fin-wearing—having a housepet in your life can contribute to your health and happiness!