HEALTH BENEFITS OF KEEPING PETS: AN OVERVIEW

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By Dr John Abbass (DVM   M.Phil)


OUR PERFECT COMPANIONS NEVER HAVE FEWER THAN FOUR FEET

Pets are lovely creatures. Cats and dogs are the most commonly kept pet animals around the globe because they easily develop strong emotional bonds with human beings.

A dog loves you more than he loves himself”.

There are a lot of mental and physical benefits which are associated with keeping pets. Here, we will discuss the health benefits of keeping pets in detail under the light of scientific literature.

 

HOW PETS AFFECT MENTAL HEALTH OF HUMAN BEINGS?

             There is a strong correlation between pets and psychological health

According to a research study conducted by a team psychiatrist from University of Purdue and University of Pennsylvania, pets have so many health benefits. Playing/interacting with pets have following positive impacts on human health

 

1)    Interaction with pets reduces anxiety, depression and a sense of loneliness along with other psychological troubles.

2)    Pets have a significant influence on lowering blood pressure and maintaining heart rate and breathing.

3)    Playing with pets (cats, dogs) relaxes the human body because of secretion of good hormones (serotonin and dopamine).

4)    Playing with pets boosts up self-esteem and confidence in humans.

5)    Interaction with pets enhances the sense of being socialized and building trust on others in humans.

 

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), pets are the greatest companions of human beings. Developing bonds with pets (cats and dogs) keeps owners happy and stress free. It has also been coded that interaction with pets increases the overall fitness of human beings.

 

HOW CHILDREN GET BENEFITS BY INTERACTING WITH PETS?

Interestingly, pets are good for humans of all ages. Children get many physical and mental benefits by playing/interacting with pets. Some important benefits have been summarized below:

Interaction with pets make children feel important and build new relationships.

Playing with pets is good for children who have behavioral issues (aggressive and stubborn). While interacting with pets, such children learn to behave well.

Playing with pets decreases the loneliness and separation anxiety in children. It also helps them to develop a positive self-image and strong self-esteem.

Last but not least, studies have revealed that interaction with pets also enhances the learning and decision-making capabilities of kids by stimulating the brain, For instance, kids suffering from autism and other communication disabilities can be cured with pets. Interaction with pets makes them calm and acts as an antidote to frustration and annoyance caused by learning disabilities.

 

HOW INTERACTION WITH PETS IS BENEFICIAL FOR AGED PEOPLE?

Pets give a lot of mental and physical benefits to old people. In old age, due to sudden changes in the body or some environmental or domestic causes, people start getting into depression and other mental ailments. By playing with pets, they feel relaxed and boredom free.

Additionally, pets help in increasing your vitality. Playing with pets increases exercise, playfulness and other physical activities which give positive impact on the immune system and overall wellness of old aged individuals. Therefore, it has been stated that pets boost up the optimism, morale and self-worth in elderly individuals.

Interaction with pets decreases the amount of bad lipids and cholesterol in the body which ultimately exerts positive influence on cardiac health. That is why, interaction with pets decreases the incidence of heart attack in older people.

Moreover, interaction with pets helps in recovery of old age diseases such as dementia and other brain degenerative diseases.



WHAT IS ANIMAL ASSISTED THERAPY?

Because of a lot of health benefits of animals, they are used for therapy purposes only under professional supervision and setting to treat a variety of mental ailments.

 

QUICK OVERVIEW

1)    Having a pet increases confidence and self-esteem in humans

2)    It adds structure and routine to your day.

3)    Decreases anxiety and depression

4)    It Increases exercise and keeps you physically and mentally fit.

5)    Provide you companionship and help you meet new people.

 

REFERENCES:

https://www.cdc.gov/healthypets/index.html

https://www.forbes.com/sites/nicolefisher/2019/05/12/8-ways-pets-improve-your-health-and-wellbeing/#736b2d823d4c

 


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