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Pet Therapy Holistic-online.com

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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.

bulletSeniors 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).

bulletPet 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.

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Pet owners have lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels than non-owners (Anderson, 1992).

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Companionship of pets (particularly dogs) helps children in families adjust better to the serious illness and death of a parent (Raveis, 1993).

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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).

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Pet owners have fewer minor health problems (Friedmann, 1990, Serpel, 1990).

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Pet owners have better psychological well-being (Serpel, 1990).

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Contact with pets develops nurturing behavior in children who may grow to be more nurturing adults (Melson, 1990).

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Pet owners have a higher on-year survival rates following coronary heart disease (Friedman, 1980).

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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).

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Pet owners have better physical health due to exercise with their pets. (Serpel, 1990).

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Having a pet may decrease heart attack mortality by 3%. This translates into 30,000 lives saved annually (Friedman, 1980).

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Dogs are preventive and therapeutic measures against everyday stress (Allen, 1991).

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Pets decrease feeling of loneliness and isolation (Kidd, 1994).

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Children exposed to humane education programs display enhanced empathy for humans compared with children not exposed to such programs. (Ascione, 1992).

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Positive self-esteem of children is enhanced by owning a pet. (Bergensen, 1989).

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Children's cognitive development can be enhanced by owning a pet. (Poresky, 1988).

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70% of families surveyed reported an increase in family happiness and fun subsequent to pet acquisition. (Cain, 1985).

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The presence of a dog during a child's physical examine decreases their stress. (Nadgengast, 1997, Baun, 1998).

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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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