7 Reasons Why Having a Pet is Good for Your Health

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7 Reasons Why Having a Pet is Good for Your Health

Intuition confirms what 25 years of medical research has proven: pets are good for your health. The reason that there are so many pet owners may have something to do with the health benefits they receive when taking care of animals. From the gerbil that races all day to get nowhere on a wheel to the regal Golden Retriever, pets enhance people's lives by enriching their mental and physical well being. The question remains, how do pets bolster people's mental and physical health? This is where 25 years of medical research comes into play. What started out as a thin hypothesis, morphed into intensive studies on how different animal species influence the health of study participants of various ages.

The initial conclusions focused on the physical health benefits of having a pet, but during the late 1990s, medical research unveiled a spectrum of additional benefits that focus on the brain. After publication of research study results, people rushed out to find the right pet to help them live healthy lives. Today, pet owners buy pet food, pet toys,, and pet accessories at brick and mortar pet stores, through classified advertisements, and on eBay. People who are interested in bringing a pet into their lives should consider the seven health benefits that pets provide, and take a look at the two best pets for their health.

Why Having a Pet Is Good for Your Health

The list of reasons why having a pet is good for your health include many common sense approaches that are used daily to ensure vibrant health. However, a few of the following reasons dispel some myths about the association between pets and your health.

1. Allergies

While most pets can cause allergy problems that come from flaky skin and dust, research proves that the old myth that children are more likely to develop allergic reactions when in contact with a pet needs to be filed under old wives' tales. The growing medical evidence suggests that children who are raised in homes that either have indoor pets or farm animals have less of a risk of incurring allergies and asthma. Children who live around pets are also less likely to contract eczema, which is an allergic skin reaction that causes red, itchy skin patches. Researchers have concluded that for the most part, since pets can be dirty animals, children's exposure to them at a young age helps to bolster their immune systems.

2. Socialization

No, pets do not improve our social skills by simply hanging around them. What they do provide socially is the key that opens the door to establishing relationships. Pets are a popular topic of conversation, the type of conversations that break the ice in forming relationships. Of course, we hear about how dogs can help men attract women, hence the term for dogs, "date magnets.." However, the socialization benefits go far beyond romantic attraction. Studies have shown that introverts who take on pets begin to change their shy, unobtrusive behavior by interacting more often with other people. The mental health benefits of enhanced socialization include improved self-esteem and renewed optimism.

3. Alzheimer's

The prevalence of news stories has made the general public aware of how pets can improve the conditions of patients who are afflicted with Alzheimer's. Human interest stories are nice, but the benefits of having pets around Alzheimer's patients has its roots in scientific research. Studies have demonstrated that Alzheimer's patients produce fewer outbursts that are a result of acute anxiety. Moreover, some researchers contend that pets stimulate the decaying neurotransmitters that send and receive information inside of the brain. While dogs receive the most attention when it comes to senior care facility visits, cats are less worrisome for caregivers, and thus, they are the preferred pet for advanced care facilities.

4. Depression

Depression, a mental health affliction that destroys more lives than we know, often results from a mindset that there is nothing to live for, and a feeling of hopelessness that pervades every waking moment of every day. The chemical explanations can be complicated to present, but make no mistake, depression is a debilitating adverse chemical reaction in the brain. However, by being exposed to pets, many people who display depression symptoms see almost immediate improvement in their conditions. Researchers attribute the change to depressed people becoming attached to their pets, thus giving them something to look forward to each day. In addition, pets stimulate the brain's pleasure neurotransmitters. As with any enjoyable activity, playing with a pet raises serotonin and dopamine levels, two pleasurable and calming nerve transmitters.

5. Heart Disease

Heart attack patients who take care of pets live longer than heart attack victims who sit at home alone. Moreover, studies show that male pet owners possess lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels, the main culprits for clogged heart arteries. One study showed that stockbrokers who had extraordinary high blood pressures benefited from owning a pet. After adopting a cat or dog, most of the stockbrokers reaped the health benefits of lower blood pressure. The fact that having a pet alleviates stress is reason enough to bring one into a home..

6. Weight

There is no arguing about whether or not Americans live in an obese society. The argument is about how obese it is going to get. One of the first groups of studies that linked pets and improved health focused on exercise. The studies proved that pet owners maintain a healthier weight than those who do not take care of pets. Most pets require some level of exercise during interaction. Dogs require pet owners to exercise through a regular walking routine. Cats prompt pet owners to burn fat during ball play. Even gerbils force their owners to exercise when it comes time to clean their cages. Maintaining a healthy weight by burning fat is the key to enhance physical health.

7. Stroke

Researchers have concluded that cat owners experience fewer strokes than non-cat owners. The reasons for this appear unclear, but researchers who conducted the studies believe having a pet improves blood circulation. Moreover, cats have a more calming influence on their owners than dogs, mostly because they are not as active, but still provide the same source of love and comfort.

Best Pets for Your Health

People can argue all day about the advantages of having a canine companion as opposed to having a cat companion. Yet, the benefits provided by each pet are not even close. In addition, we often forget that many people have horses as pets, and horses rank up there with dogs for providing the greatest number of health benefits.

Dogs

Dogs do much more than help us burn calories and exercise brain power. They do more than mitigate depression and enhance mood. Dogs have heightened sensory and intuitive capabilities that allow them to perform three life saving functions. First, some dogs alert their diabetic human companions whenever blood sugar levels fall past a dangerous point. Dogs accomplish this by detecting a change in a human body's chemicals that emit a scent. Second, dogs that train to live with epileptics alert their human companions before seizures take place. This gives an epileptic more time to clear the area of potentially dangerous objects. Finally, dogs help people who have Parkinson's disease to maintain their independence. Dogs provide balance support, open and close doors, and turn lights on and off with their paws.

Horses

Most of us do not look at horses as household pets and, in light of the term "household," perhaps they are not. However, horses are a valuable part of many families; they don't just spend their time resting outside of the home. Rehabilitations centers use horses to help stroke patients recover. Horseback riding provides a more rigorous workout, bolsters the cardiovascular system, and strengthens muscles. Because of the physical exertion caused by riding on a horse saddle,, riders use muscles they never knew that they had. Just soaking in the great outdoors provides a number of mental health benefits. Most importantly, developing a bond of trust that is required to ride a horse boosts self-worth.

Buying Pet Products on eBay

While learning why having a pet is good for your health, you may be motivated to find the right pet companion. This means you need to shop for pet food, pet leashes,, pet toys, and even pet treats. eBay provides the most convenient way for you to build your pet supplies, even an opportunity to buy horse care products. All you need to do is type a few keywords into the search engine and then navigate through the search results pages. Each seller provides information, an enlarged pet product photograph, as well as information about delivery terms and return policies. Use specific keywords to narrow your search. For instance, type "cat food&" and "dog treats&" to reduce the time it takes to find pet products.

eBay runs a program that rewards the top-rated sellers on the site. Top-rated sellers have demonstrated a consistent and lengthy record of offering superior products and generous return policies. eBay places a ribbon icon next to each top-rated seller's product photograph. You can also review customer feedback on seller product pages. Look for sellers who have received positive feedback on eBay for over a year and have compiled some feedback from selling pet products.

Conclusion

Pets provide comfort and joy to pet owners all over the world, but what exactly does all of that comfort and joy mean? For starters, research has proven that pets provide a wide variety of health benefits, from increasing serotonin levels to reducing deadly plaque buildup in heart arteries. The tangible health benefits of having a pet have led to pets being introduced into environments where they improve the mental health of depressed AIDS patients and the physical health of wounded military veterans. While most pets are good for your health, dogs and horses provide therapeutic health benefits that no other pet can provide.

Horses help people develop a level of trust that bolsters their mental health. Not only does horse riding provide a stimulating physical workout, it also allows people to reap the pleasure of soaking in the sun and breathing the fresh air. Dogs are known to save the lives of epileptics, diabetics, and people who suffer from Parkinson's disease by utilizing their incomparable sensory and instinct skills. The seven reason why having a pet is good for your health runs the gamut from simple mood-boosting companionship to pulling someone out of a raging inferno.

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