Are Pets Good for Your Health?
Thursday, April 6, 2023
You may have heard or read that pets can be good for your health – but you might have wondered, “Is that true?” Turns out, the evidence shows that having pets can help you to be healthier in a variety of ways, both physically and emotionally.
We all know pets provide companionship and unconditional love. But research has shown they can also help reduce stress and blood pressure in owners, increase longevity in those who've had heart attacks, and even relax and improve the appetites of Alzheimer's disease patients.
Here a few facts regarding pets and your health:
- Heart attack patients with pets survive longer than those without.
- Kids with "furred animals" in the home have less risk of allergies and asthma.
- When a dog is in the home, infants were less likely to show evidence of pet allergies (19% vs. 33%).
- Male pet owners have less heart disease (lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels).
- Alzheimer's disease patients with pets in the home have fewer anxious outbursts.
- Pets can help children with their emotional and social skills.
- Having an animal companion to keep you company can help all of us – especially older adults who aren’t able to get out of the house much – to feel less lonely.
- Many hospitals and other medical facilities have pet therapy – bringing around pet volunteers to improve patients’ mental health.
Pets Can Be Good Medicine
Pets improve our health without speaking a word and without ever demanding a thing – they just need you, your love and your caring. Not only do pets help us to love, they help us to stay healthy and to heal. So, if you’re trying to decide whether a pet is right for you, keep in mind, improving your health might be the deciding factor!
Genesis HealthCare System’s Health and Wellness content conveniently provides accurate and helpful information. Your health history and current health may impact suggestions provided through our Health and Wellness content. Although we hope this information is helpful, it is not a substitute for your doctor's medical advice. Before making any significant changes, please consult your doctor.