We all know about the love and companionship that pets can bring, but did you know that they come with health benefits, too? If you’re looking for a new reason to convince a partner or family member to adopt a furry friend, this might be a winner.
One researcher’s study proves that kids who grow up in homes with animals are less likely to develop animal-related allergies and asthma, as well as contagious diseases. Pets who live outdoors are likely to carry and bring in lots of dirt and bacteria that can strengthen your immune system. That exposure (especially from a young age) can work wonders.
Pets have been proven to reduce stress and anxiety, create a calming effect, and help nurture those with mental illnesses and disorders. In fact, thousands and thousands of people have certified emotional support animals (usually dogs, sometimes cats) because their pets can help prevent breakdowns and outbursts in stressful situations.
Even if an animal is not a certified emotional support animal, the animal can provide enough joy to lift the stress right out of a person. In fact, there are some hospitals and facilities that allow special organizations to bring dogs and cats in to cuddle and play with the patients. They act as instant mood-lifters and stress-reducers.
Having a dog forces you to go outside and take walks. This leads to more vitamin D exposure, more exercise, and an opportunity for a fun, relaxing day – all things that contribute to both mental and physical health. Even just a walk around the block with your dog every day is probably more than you would get if you didn’t have a dog, and that bit of exercise can help you fight a multitude of health problems, from obesity to cardiovascular disease and everything in between.
So what are you waiting for? Head to your local shelter or Humane Association and adopt a furry friend today. You can save both the pet’s life and yours.