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5 Ways Pets Improve Your Health

When I come home from a long day of blogging, my dear dog Bonnie greets me at the door with blind adoration. All that love is such an ego boost. Pets are good for more than your self-esteem. Besides being great buddies, according to WebMD pets can also improve your health in these five ways:

  1. Prevent allergies: Many new studies show that children who grow up in a household with furry animals or on a farm, have less risk for allergies, and asthma and a stronger immune system.
  2. Friend magnets: Pets are natural conversation starters so your pet can help you meet people if you have social anxiety or chronic shyness.
  3. Benefit the aged: For the elderly, caring for a pet can offer exercise and companionship. Studies have also shown that for Alzheimer's patients, those who have a pet have fewer anxious outbursts.
  4. Good for the mind and soul: Those who have pets are less likely to suffer from depression, are better equipped to handle stressful situations, and they also have lower blood pressure.
  5. Good for your heart: Pet owners who suffer from a heart attack will live longer than those who are petless. Studies have also shown that men who own pets have lower cholesterol.


Join The Conversation
keldoo keldoo 8 years
AGREED! here's another great article on the subject
Sabrina-LI Sabrina-LI 8 years
I love cats, it's my best friend
Tom-from-SV Tom-from-SV 8 years
"After a long day of blogging, my dear dog Bonnie greets me at the door ..." That's pretty impressive! But tell Bonnie to take frequent breaks from the keyboard, we wouldn't want her to get carpal tunnel syndrome.
cj-and-francine cj-and-francine 8 years
who says pets dont have favorites...he sure likes to kiss mommie francine more, haha!!!
hatepets hatepets 8 years
I have no allergies, am in perfect health and have numerous friends, and no pets, well so much for that theory. The pet craze is a problem leaving numerous animals wandering free and without a home. As well, pets have a negative impact on populations of native wildlife. The people I know with the worst allergies are those with pets because they are constantly around all the pet dander not to mention what they may bring in from the outside. The national discourse should not be about what to do with the thousands of pets in shelters that are put to sleep every year, but about reducing the pet population as a whole which would start with pet owner behavior (most people I know with pets just cant have only one and they want to breed to have cute puppies or kittens). I believe state licenses should be required for anyone wanting to breed animals which would be a decent start to this problem. It should also be noted that nothing including pets can replace human companionship.
cp54 cp54 8 years
To dennyandjessica - Contact your local ASPCA and ask if there are any groups in your area who do TNR (trap, neuter, & return). I am part of several teams in my area who, when asked, will trap feral cats and take them to our local ASPCA or vets who will spay or neuter the cats and give them rabies shots. The cats are then returned to their territory. Often volunteers will help the neighborhood or business set up a feeding program. The cats form stable colonies and it can be very rewarding to take a part in caring for them. In the greater metro area I live in, the local animal shelters have reported a significant drop in the number of feral cats brought in and euthanized since TNR became a strong movement around here.
mserrano26 mserrano26 8 years
Everyone is talking about their dogs, but I have three cats and they are my bestfriends. I just lost one not more than 2 months ago and was crushed, he died in my arms. When I have migranes, my cat will lay with me and just the sound of him purring helps my headach. They are the best!
abenarth abenarth 8 years
I grew up with cats and dogs and I am allergic to cat's as well as other things... but I would rather sneeze and take medication before I ever would give up my 3 cats!!
reherrera reherrera 8 years
I am a former u.s. marine, combat veteran of the vietnam war. I am a disabled veteran of the war. I have a 70 pound larger variety border collie. he is my veterans administration certified service dog. he is the best. not to mention a chick magnet. he goes every where with me. my doctor says that everyone needs a service dog.
jellyace jellyace 8 years
i really believe in those things stated above. i just love pets especially cats and dogs and it makes me so happy to see them happy too. however, in the country where i came from, a lot of people are cruel and insensitive to the needs of the animals. my sister and i started this animal concerns awareness organization. to our disappointment, only a few people responded.. i hope that as time would pass by, it would change. i hope that people will treat these animals not in a low manner. it really hurts me a lot to see those animals not taken care of. I wanted to adopt all of them, but i can't especially now that i still don't have work and i'm still a student..please help us think of activities that will catch the attention of the people make them believe that animals are our friends. thanks:D
dennyandjessica dennyandjessica 8 years
oh yeah, pawsibilities unleashed pet therapy of kentucky takes dogs from shelters that pass the tempermant and scent/work testing and turn them into service dogs. the dogs are so happy with their new homes. then the other dogs are rescued and put with new homes. they are awesome!
dennyandjessica dennyandjessica 8 years
there's a really good program in missouri that has a prison puppy raising program for support dogs. i think the prison programs are great! the over crowding shelters would be less full if people would stop back yard breeding and get their pets fixed. we have 3 cats in our neighborhood that aren't fixed and we keep getting kittens. owners that allow this to happen should be fined. it's so sad to see a dog or kitten dropped off at a shelter after it gave birth to a bunch of puppies that no one wanted. go to your state legislature and rally for stiffer penalties for neglectful owners.
Stayc88 Stayc88 8 years
I LOVE my dog :D She is my best friend.
jynx75 jynx75 8 years
For me...Pets it helps to relief some your stress.
hafiza hafiza 8 years
hello fitsugar, can we get a national dialog going on what to do about the literally millions of cats and dogs that are killed each year in animal shelters? at the same time we have more than a 1/2 dozen VERY successful programs in prisons, where the felons are given a dog to take care of. the rate of RETURN to prison of the prisoners-with-pets has CONSISTENTLY been around 10%, instead of the usual rate of return which is around 40% to 50% or even higher for some prisons. the prison pet programas exist and they are working out very well. can't we save more of the shelter dogs & help reduce criminal activity by hooking up these two negative situations???
bj6 bj6 8 years
My dog passed away very suddenly about 6 weeks ago after being my 'best friend' for 14 years. (He was at least 15). I miss him everyday, especially when I come home. I'll probably get another, but I can never really replace him.
robina robina 8 years
I love dogs there the best. One of my goals in life is to be as good a person as my dog already thinks I am.
kjohn1 kjohn1 8 years
I believe Will Rogers had a saying that goes like this, "They say that dogs don't go to Heaven... When I die I want to go where they go".
dennyandjessica dennyandjessica 8 years
yes nick is named after nick jonas!
dennyandjessica dennyandjessica 8 years
I have always had dogs but i never knew how much i would depend on one until this last summer. My 8 year old is a type 1 diabetic and is very brittle. many highs and many lows, doesn't feel her lows. so dangerous. life can really suck for her and we were desparing over what to do for her. and then we found out that dogs could detect low/high blood sugars before they led to seizures, and other complications. NOw after many months we have Nick. he's my daughter's diabetic alert service dog. he will 4 months old on the 28th and he is learning his job so fast . he's a little genius! and so sweet. the emotional heeling he gives is as amazing as his physical benefits for her. today he alerted 5 times and each time we were able to correct it in due time. i sometimes think i am nuts to be taking on all the work of a puppy and training him but he is so funny and so smart, he just brings a new energy to our home. they should do a story on these dogs and how much they help!
gogogirl411 gogogirl411 8 years
I luv dogs!
faithes faithes 8 years
dogs also protect their family!!!
Awtumdaisy Awtumdaisy 8 years
Everyone keeps mentioning dogs, but don't forget about our kitties! My two cats a constant source of amusment, laughter, and love. Especially our younger cat, she is such a cuddle bug and loves to be loved and loves us back.
Shela-Kay Shela-Kay 8 years
I grew up on farm with dogs, cats, horses, cows, goats and chickens. My allergies and asthma are of the hook. But could not live with out my 2 dogs and 3 cats!!! Oh yeah I guess I better include my husband and son!!lol
msmangay msmangay 8 years
love dogs
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