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Healthy Reasons to
Have a Pet
Here are the health reasons to have a pet as
reported by Delta Society that performs research into the importance of animals to
the lives and well being of humans.
|Seniors who own dogs go to the doctor less
than those who do not.
In a study of 100 Medicare patients, even the
most highly stressed dog owners in the study has 21 percent fewer physician's contacts
than non-dog owners. (Siegel, 1990).
|Pet owners have lower blood pressure.
(Friedman, 1983, Anderson 1992).
A recent study, from the State University
of New York at Buffalo, looked at male and female stockbrokers already taking medication
to control high blood pressure. Researchers say those with a pet nearby during stressful
encounters experienced half the increase in blood pressure as those who did not own a pet.
Lead author, Dr. Karen Allen, calls
the results "dramatic and significant." She says while medication can lower
blood pressure, it cannot relieve stress and that can force blood pressure back up. The
research team says it chose a dog or cat for each stockbroker at the beginning of the
study and soon the study participants became very attached to their pets. Six months
later, Allen says, many of the stockbrokers in the medication-only control group went out
and got themselves a pet.
Pet owners have lower triglyceride and
cholesterol levels than non-owners (Anderson, 1992).
Companionship of pets (particularly dogs)
helps children in families adjust better to the serious illness and death of a parent
Pet owners feel less afraid of being a
victim of crime when walking with a dog or sharing a residence with a dog. (Serpel, 1990).
Pet owners have fewer minor health problems
(Friedmann, 1990, Serpel, 1990).
Pet owners have better psychological
well-being (Serpel, 1990).
Contact with pets develops nurturing
behavior in children who may grow to be more nurturing adults (Melson, 1990).
Pet owners have a higher on-year survival
rates following coronary heart disease (Friedman, 1980).
Medication costs dropped from an average of
$3.80 per patient per day to just $1.18 per patient per day in new nursing home facilities
in New York, Missouri and Texas that have animals and plants as an integral part of the
environment. (Montague, 1995).
Pet owners have better physical health due
to exercise with their pets. (Serpel, 1990).
Having a pet may decrease heart attack
mortality by 3%. This translates into 30,000 lives saved annually (Friedman, 1980).
Dogs are preventive and therapeutic measures
against everyday stress (Allen, 1991).
Pets decrease feeling of loneliness and
isolation (Kidd, 1994).
Children exposed to humane education
programs display enhanced empathy for humans compared with children not exposed to such
programs. (Ascione, 1992).
Positive self-esteem of children is enhanced
by owning a pet. (Bergensen, 1989).
Children's cognitive development can be
enhanced by owning a pet. (Poresky, 1988).
70% of families surveyed reported an
increase in family happiness and fun subsequent to pet acquisition. (Cain, 1985).
The presence of a dog during a child's
physical examine decreases their stress. (Nadgengast, 1997, Baun, 1998).
Children owning pets are more involved in
activities such as sports, hobbies, clubs or chores. (Melson, 1990)
Related Topic: The
Power of Pets by Sally Abrahms
Next Topic: The
Benefits We Experience When Pets (Animals) Are Beside Us
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