For the good of your health, Get A Pet!

*By Gemma Harling

You may think being a pet owner is stressful, dogs chew up their beds (and everything else), rabbits dig holes and cats, well, they are plotting to rule the world so are basically uninterested in doing what you want them to do. But, what may actually surprise you is that pets are actually good for your health.

Of course there is the physical benefit of taking dogs for a walk, chasing an escaped rabbit and the occasional game of hide and seek with a hamster, but the health benefits of pets go way beyond this.

Pets have been proven to lower your blood pressure, the stroking of a pet is a relaxing activity that keeps a person calm and stops their blood pressure getting out of control. Plus, if it is a person that has made you mad you could all stroke the cat in a Bond villain like manner while plotting your revenge (hypothetical revenge of course).

A survey by Mindlab International showed that 55% of people were calmer after spending time with their pets and 44% were also less anxious about problems such as money troubles. That is pretty potent pet power there.

In the case of the elderly, pets are an excellent source of therapy. They have been proven to reduce depression, one of the most common problems affecting the elderly today. They provide constant companionship and require lots of love, which in turn eliminates feelings of social isolation and loneliness, whilst also giving an older person a reason to go out and meet people.

Some care homes in the UK allow elderly residents to have pets with them, due to these benefits. Sunrise Senior Living even has residential pets for those residents without, such as Alfie from Hale Barns, Treacle from Tettenhall and Chino from Westbourne (see below).

Residential Pets from Sunrise Senior Living

From the old to the young, pets can also help children suffering with certain disorders, such as ADHD, and autistic children. As children with ADHD find it hard to settle and focus, the pet’s routine of feeds and walks can help a child suffering from this disorder focus on their responsibilities regarding taking care of the pet; while pets can have a soothing effect on children with autism, through the petting and holding of them.

They can also help children build up immunity to allergies and kids are generally healthier as a result of having a pet in their household whilst growing up. It can also decrease the risk of a child developing asthma.

So even though their barking, scratching or incessant whining may be driving you nuts, be nice, they are actually helping you out in the long run!

The Wonder of Pet by Sunrise Senior Living

27 Comments

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27 responses to “For the good of your health, Get A Pet!

  1. I would love to have a pet, especially for the benefit of my son but our lease doesn’t allow it. As someone who’s had a cat and a dog since since was born I know all too well about the huge benefit having a pet can have on your life. Lovely that nursing homes have resident pets too.

    • It is a brilliant idea, I must agree with you.
      Care home where our Gran Flo is have one resident cat and once a week a support dog comes with visit – all residents totally love these visits.

  2. We have two rescue dogs and our boys totally love them, great companions. They certainly lift spirits when feel down I would totally recommend getting a dog.

  3. We have lots of pets! I think they definitely can be good for health!

  4. Reblogged this on Dragonfly's Dance and commented:
    As if we need an excuse to have a pet, here’s actual medical reasons to have a furry companion. Especially for seniors (you know who you are.)

  5. Melissa Smith

    Pets are a lot to take care of, but they’re just like having another family member & can be your best friend. 🙂

  6. The kids have been pushing us for one, now may be the time to adopt a little fur baby

  7. I can’t imagine a life without pets :o)

  8. I have to agree, when i am stressed i take my dog for a walk, or just sit there and pet her.

  9. Bola

    Another mouth to feed and clean up after? Already have kids so I will pass.

  10. Charity L.

    Pets are the best!! We have a sweet rescue kitty and several dogs. They really are great to be around and they sense your mood.

  11. Pets can be so great to have, but I never thought of it from a health standpoint before.

  12. I can’t wait to get a dog! We just bought a house, so a pet is the next step.

    • Congratulation on the house Crystal.
      When we got a house we got cats first, but then after few months once they started going out, it was lonely yet again… it was a time for a dog 🙂

  13. So what does it say about the mix of kids and pets…cause that tends to drive me up a wall at times lol

  14. Paula Parker

    This is so true. There is nothing like a pet in your lap happily being petted. So fun/relaxing.

  15. Did my children call you and ask you to post this? LOL Great post.

  16. Unfortunateyl due to my husband’s allergies we cannot have pets 😦

  17. Pets are good companions which keeps you relaxed. Dogs can act as the perfect personal trainer, if only because most of them need to be walked several times a day.

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