• My Buddy, My Pet

    Posted on May 8, 2012 by Lola Kristiani in Activities.

    Regular exercise, fresh healthy food, and enough rest are good for your health. Yoga, meditation, music are good to reduce your stress. Combine the two you’ll have a good health and stressless, how? get a pet!

    Pets are good for your health, apparently. A pet is certainly a great friend. After a difficult day, pet owners quite literally feel the love. Unlike relationships with human family members, which can sometimes be difficult and a source of stress, owning a pet can significantly improve overall health and reduce risk of disease. The benefits of pet ownership are good for physically, mentally and psychosocially. Your favorite animal can make you healthy and help you stay that way.

    It only takes 15 to 30 minutes with a dog or cat or watching fish swim to feel less anxious and less stressed. Your body actually goes through physical changes in that length of time that makes a difference in your mood. The level of cortisol, a hormone associated with stress, is lowered. And the production of serotonin, a chemical associated with well-being, is increased. Pets provide companionship and unconditional love. There are so many things you can do with your pet, like; play games, go for walks, explore the garden, learn new things or just share a quiet moment together.

    Let’s see how can these animals provide us health benefits:

    Pet helps us in dealing with and recovering from depression and combat the loneliness. No one loves you more unconditionally than your pet. And a pet will listen to you talk for as long as you want to talk. Petting a cat or dog has a calming effect. Taking care of a pet, like; walking with it, grooming it, playing with it, takes you out of yourself and helps you feel better about your self. Animals have the ability to relax us.  Because of this, owning a pet can prove to lower blood pressure, improve depression and other mood disorders and decrease stress.

    Research has shown the long-term benefits of owning a cat include protection for your heart. Over the 20 years of one study, people who never owned a cat were 40% more likely to die of a heart attack than those who had. Cat owners have fewer strokes than people who don’t own cats. It’s partly due to the effects owning a pet can have on a person’s circulation. Another study showed that dog owners had a significantly better survival rate one year after a heart attack. Overall, pet owners have a lower risk of dying from any cardiac disease, including heart failure. Any disease condition that has a stress-related component to it, pets could decrease stress and moderate the situation, because the focus of their owner’s interest, which diverts them from other stressful worries.

    People who own pets have healthier weights than those who don’t, and tend to be more physically active and less obese. Taking your dog for a daily 30-minute walk will keep you moving and ensure that you meet the minimum recommendations for healthy physical activity. Two 15-minute walks, one in the morning and one in the evening, will do the same thing. After that, just playing fetch in the back yard with your dog will earn you healthful, and happy feelings. This is because pets, especially dogs, require exercise, which forces us to get up off the couch and get exercise too.  There are several different ways you can exercise with your pet, it isn’t only limited to walking.

    Most people think that growing up with pets will actually make allergies worse.  However, it has been found that kids growing up in a home with “furry” animals have a lower risk for developing allergies and asthma.  The reason for this is because the young immune system will get use to the allergens, preventing problems in the future.

    Whether you have a dog, cat, or rabbit, pets are great conversation starters.  Most of the time, owning one forces owners to meet new people, like; going on walks, the waiting room at the vet’s office, or else. Dogs can actually help people ease out of social isolation or shyness. Even for outdoor sport, sometimes you feel uncomfortable to go out and run only by your self,  dog will not disappointed you as your jogging partner.

    Pets have a good impact on your family. They give you hours of family bonding time along with teaching your kids some lessons on responsibility along the way.

    Believe it or not, pets can be great teachers. Boys and girls who live with pets are more empathetic and social than kids who don’t. Allowing boys to take responsibility for feeding, walking, and grooming a dog lets them practice nurturing skills, like little girls typically develop it while playing house, it’s also an early learning process to take the responsibilities. Caring for and loving a pet, besides encouraging childhood responsibility and accountability, also prepares children for real-life situations such as doctor’s visits, reproductions, illnesses and even losses. Children with pets display improved impulse control, social skills and self-esteem.

    It is understandable to pets aren’t for everyone, but all of these are great reasons to get one.  No matter what, owning a pet is a great learning experience for all of us. Happy to try it? just remember pet is a living creature, having one at home require discipline and responsibility to taking care, but the benefits for your health is also good, to have stress antidote at home is priceless.

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