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Impact of Pets on our Health

Pets make wonderful companions and are known to provide many physical and mental health benefits. A pet is considered as one of the best companions one could ever get. A better understanding of the bond between humans and pets will help in a better understanding of us human beings. This article gives you an insight into this by elucidating the different positive and negative effects of having pets.

Benefits

Pet animals or companion animals are known for lowering blood pressure and regulating the heart rate in stressful situations. Some dogs are also trained in identifying seizures and acting accordingly. There has been several researches done to clearly mark the difference in pet owners and non-pet owners. It has been observed that pet owners are less stressed when compared to non-pet owners as pets keep the blood pressure under control. Some researches shave shown that the simple act of petting a dog or cat can reduce stress levels in several people.

Companionship with pets also helps with anxiety, especially with children. A recent study has found that a child’s blood pressure, heart rates and behavioral distress are especially low when around a pet. However, there are still researches going on regarding the exact relationship between a child and pet and the meaning of the strong bond they share.

Pet ownership also acts as an important source of emotional support for the elderly. It has been found that older people are found to be more physically active if they own a pet and vice versa. Dogs also assist the elderly in daily physical activities such climbing the stairs, bending the knee, daily exercise, etc.

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One of the most obvious mental health benefits of pets is love and companionship. Pets make you feel emotionally attached to them as they are to you and tend to understand how you feel through your actions, tone, etc. One can feel more secure with their pet next to them, hence helping with anxiety levels. This secure attachment helps the brain in reducing stress response which affects your breathing rate, blood pressure and anxiety level. Spending time with pets also has been observed to stimulate the release of oxytocin in the human body, which gives a “feel good” factor to the body.

Risks

Having pets can also pose as health hazards. There are always times when your pet wants to run around and jump around your feet, which might knock you over your feet. There also cleanliness and sanitary issues with having pets. The pets should be maintained with utmost care and cleanse. If this I avoided, the close contact with pets can lead to some very harmful diseases. People with weak immune systems are highly prone to this and usually have allergies to animals.