As well as being a great companion, pets can also improve your lifestyle in so many ways and award-winning stair lifts provider Acorn Stairlifts have decided to offer this article, that explores this idea in more detail and analyse how certain animals in your home give benefits to your physical and mental wellbeing, along with improving your social skills and aiding your body’s ability to fight off developing allergies.
How pets improve your physical health
There have been a number of research published, which have suggested that pets help improve your fitness and health if you have them within your household.
A study was leaked on the Mother Nature Network in 2017, that revealed that dogs could decrease your risk of death from cardiovascular disease or other causes. This particular piece of research followed 3.4 million individuals in Sweden — men and women aged between 40 and 80 years old — and examined their health records for around 12 years, as well as whether they owned a dog. Once all the research was compiled, it was found that individuals who lived by themselves but had a dog were able to reduce their risk to death in general by 33 per cent, as well as their risk of death due to a cardiovascular-related issue by 36 per cent, when compared to those who lived alone and without a pet.
Owning a dog, can improve your fitness levels as well. This particular piece of research followed 3.4 million individuals in Sweden — men and women aged between 40 and 80 years old — and examined their health records for around 12 years, as well as whether they owned a dog. Once all the research was compiled, it was found that individuals who lived by themselves but had a dog were able to reduce their risk to death in general by 33 per cent, as well as their risk of death due to a cardiovascular-related issue by 36 per cent, when compared to those who lived alone and without a pet.
Looking after fish can also provide teenage diabetes sufferers with an aid to better managing their disease. In a study which News in Health has covered, researchers asked that a group of teenagers with type 1 diabetes cared for a pet fish. Each person involved in the study were asked to look after their fish two times a day, by feeding them and checking their water levels, as well as changing the water in the tank on a weekly basis. The researchers then paired this caretaking routine with the youngsters reviewing their blood glucose logs with their parents. At the end of the study, it was found that the teenagers with fish to care for were more disciplined with checking their own blood glucose levels compared to children who didn’t have a pet to look after.
How can pets improve your mental health
Your physical wellbeing isn’t the only thing that can be improved by owning a pet, mental health can also be improved through them, as the MD, chief medical officer Gary A.Christenson at Boynton Health service at the University of Minnesota, points out: “Pets often provide and love and they’re always there for you. There is a bond and companionship that makes a big difference in mental health.”
A study was actually published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology that concluded, that owners of pets, said that they had sense of purpose, and meaningful existence, along with a higher self-esteem, than those without pets. Ms Johnson has attempted to shed light on why this is the case, acknowledging: “Pets are completely non-judgmental, don’t have an agenda, take you at face value, and they don’t care what you look like or how you behave — they love unconditionally, and that boots self-esteem. Confidence can be improved by the fact that dogs love you no matter what, and to the same extent, cats are very loving to their their owners.”
Just having a pet in the same room can help owners. Ms Johnson explains: “A powerful neurochemical, oxytocin, is released when we look at our companion animal, which brings feelings of joy. It’s also accompanied by a decrease in cortisol, a stress hormone.”
How pets can help fight your body fight against allergies
If there is new baby expected within your family, you may want to consider having a pet in your household too. This is after a study that was published in Clinical & Experimental Allergy found that children were less likely to develop hay fever, allergic diseases and eczema when they grew up if they were exposed to pets before they were six months old.
If you child ever begs for a pet, then you may want to pay attention to their request. This is after research has also suggested that kids who grew up around dogs, cats and farm animals were found to typically have a reduced risk of developing eczema and asthma, as well as stronger immune systems than those who weren’t in such environments at a young age.
How your social skills can be improved through pets
Your social skills can be improved significantly as well by having a pet.
A study carried out by researchers from the University of Western Australia, the Harvard T.H. Chan schools of Public Health, and the WALTHAM Centre for Pet Nutrition for Instance. This is after research has also suggested that kids who grew up around dogs, cats and farm animals were found to typically have a reduced risk of developing eczema and asthma, as well as stronger immune systems than those who weren’t in such environments at a young age.
Alongside her colleague Dr. Lisa Wood, an associate professor at the University of Western Australia they wrote in PloS ONE stating: “Pet ownership appears to be a significant factor for facilitating social interaction and friendship formation within neighborhoods. For pet owners, this also translates into new sources of social support, both of a practical and emotionally supportive nature.”
Then the Journal of Applied Development Science had released a study which acknowledged that young adults that had a deep bond with their pets, also felt more connected in both their relationships and their communities when compared to non-pet owners. Furthermore, these young adults were found to be more likely to take on leadership roles, were usually more confident and more emphatic as well.
As we’ve learned from this article, there is so much that we need to thank our pets for!
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