Pet Health Issues – The Health Benefits of Owning a Pet

Pet Health Issues – What are the Health Benefits of Owning a Pet?  As people age, they spend tons of money on prescription drugs and other medical expenses.  Are there other alternatives. 

Not surprisingly, there are many other alternatives than spending money on medicine.  One of the most inexpensive ways is to own a pet.

In the years before my mother’s death, she lived with my sister.  She absolutely loved the companionship provided by my sister’s dog.  He was a Lhasa Apso.  I feel that the little guy extended her life and helped her health.

I read an article entitled “Health Benefits of Having a Pet” by Isabel Rodriguez of the Miami Pet Nutrition Examiner.  She discusses the topic describing the health benefits of owning a pet.

Here is a short quote:

Fortunately, there are many other ways in which people can improve their health without having to depend so heavily on medication.

Owning a dog or a cat is one of the safest and funnest ways in which someone can improve their health and adopt a more active lifestyle. Below are the main health benefits people can obtain from owning a pet:

-Lower Levels of Depression: owning a pet can be especially beneficial for individuals who suffer from depression. Pets offer psychological and physical comfort, says Teri Wright, PhD, a psychologist in Santa Ana, Calif. Owning a pet requires responsibility and it keeps owners busy with simple tasks, such as feeding or playing with their pet. By engaging in these activities, owners keep their minds away from negative thoughts. Since dogs need care and attention, they make their owners feel needed and valuable, which increases the owner’s self-esteem. Dog are especially loyal companions who reciprocate love and affection, another important factor which helps reduce levels of depression. Moreover, a study done by UCLA researchers found that men with AIDS were less likely to suffer from depression if they owned a pet. 

The complete article can be read here.

Ms. Rodriguez goes into a lot of detail.  The article is certainly worth reading.

She goes into several other health benefits of owning a pet.  In addition to improving low levels of depression, she mentions lowering levels of blood pressure and cholesterol, reducing stress, lowering the risk of a heart attack, increased levels of exercise and weight reduction, and several others.

Have you seen the health benefits of owning a pet?  I would like to hear your comments.

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