Dogs can detect cancer in their owners, while cats help relieve stress, reducing the risk of death from heart disease.
Pets not only help people be happy but also bring many health benefits. Here are the pet benefits given by Reader’s Digest.
Avoid social isolation:
A study in Anthrozoös magazine about past abandonment experiences, participants were asked to name a photo of cats, dogs, people or toys. As a result, volunteers put animal names more positively than those who use the name of the photographer. Individuals who treat animals or human-like objects (such as when talking to pets) are often empathetic and have a special way of thinking against negative emotions.
Loneliness is closely related to many dangerous diseases like heart or Alzheimer’s. According to a study in the Journal of Aging and Mental Health, pet owners’ ability to sense loneliness is 36% lower than others. Research has also shown that furry friends help people live alone to communicate better.
Research in Sweden recorded a decrease in cortisol or stress hormones in female volunteers after 15 to 30 minutes of stroking a dog. Meanwhile, happy oxytocin or hormone levels increase after one to five minutes, for candidates who are raising dogs. Their heart rate also stayed lower after an hour.
Protect the cardiovascular system:
Cats help relieve stress and reduce the risk of death from heart disease, citing a study on Vascular Neurology and Neurological Intervention. People who are or have ever had cats have a lower risk of dying from heart disease than those who do not own this animal.
Keep your mind clear:
Research published in Anthrozoös shows that older people who own cats or dogs are better able to concentrate, remember and make decisions.
As you walk your dog, your health will also improve. At the University of Michigan, research results show that one of the many benefits of keeping a dog at 30 minutes increases in exercise time.
Spending time with a pet also helps you avoid post-operative pain. Research in Anthrozoös found patients who spent 15 minutes playing with dogs after joint replacement surgery used fewer painkillers than those who did not use this special therapy.