At Wilkinson Animal Hospital, one of our purposes is to support and nurture the human-animal bond. That is because we totally understand the special bond between a pet parent and their pet. As pet owners, we all instinctively know that that special bond of unconditional love has value to our emotional health, but what about our physical health?
There are numerous studies confirming the value of pet ownership to the health of our bodies and minds. Here are some of the benefits that have been found out from studies:
Decreased Health Care Costs
Considering the rising costs of health care, get this:
“From a purely financial benefit, a recent study by the Human Animal Bond Research Initiative Foundation, conducted by two researchers from George Mason University, has unleashed a more startling finding: Pet ownership could reduce U.S. health care costs by $11.7 billion.” Now isn’t that cool?
Improved Heart Health
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the National Institute of Health (NIH) have done studies on the cardiovascular health benefits of caring for a pet. Their findings?
- Decreased Blood pressure
- Decreased Cholesterol levels
- Decreased Triglyceride levels
All which lead to a lower risk of heart attack. And pet-owners who are recovering from heart attacks have better recovery rates. – Source: http://www.cdc.gov/healthypets/health-benefits/
“Several studies have shown that dog owners may get more exercise and other health benefits than the rest of us. One NIH-funded investigation looked at more than 2,000 adults and found that dog owners who regularly walked their dogs were more physically active and less likely to be obese than those who didn’t own or walk a dog. Another study supported by NIH followed more than 2,500 older adults, ages 71-82, for 3 years. Those who regularly walked their dogs walked faster and for longer time periods each week than others who didn’t walk regularly. Older dog walkers also had greater mobility inside their homes than others in the study.”
Better Social Life?
Ok, so, remember the movie “Must Love Dogs”? Well, your pet can be a conversation starter at a dog park, or on a walk, etc.
Some other things I found were fewer allergic sensitivities, decreased stress, lower rates of obesity, and the benefits of therapy dogs helping people recovering from disease and helping the elderly in nursing homes.
At Wilkinson Animal Hospital, our team is totally on board with helping pets to live longer, healthier lives, while celebrating and nurturing the human-animal bond…so maybe we get to increase the longevity of their human companions, too. Now that’s pretty cool!