Pets are Truly Man’s Best Friend

Sherine Mostafa
staff writer

Pets are Truly Man’s Best Friend

According to the Huffington Post, nearly 60 percent of American households have at least one pet. Studies show that just being around a pet can improve stress levels, lessen depression and loneliness and raise self-esteem. Quite often, dogs and cats are brought into assisted living centers and nursing homes across the United States to visit the residents. This process, known as animal-assisted therapy, has been shown to ease depression, aggression, and agitation among nursing home residents with dementia and encourages them to participate in more social activities. Dogs and cats also prove to be beneficial when it comes to children. Growing up with one of these pets can teach them about responsibility and the concept of unconditional love. Studies dating back about ten years suggest that having a pet in the home may even reduce the child’s risk of developing allergies and asthma.
And now we move to matters of the heart. Not only can owning a dog significantly improve your spirits, it may also be able to improve your health. Studies show that people who own a dog may have lowered heart rates, blood pressure and cholesterol. In some cases it may even improve survival after a heart attack. One study done by the National Institute of Health suggests that people who owned dogs were more likely than people who did not own dogs to still be alive after a heart attack, no matter the severity of the attack. Another study looked at married couples; about half of them owned pets. Results showed that those who had pets and significantly lower heart rates and blood pressure than those who didn’t. More and more studies are showing the positive impact that owning pets really does have on the heart and this encouraged the American Heart Association to release an official statement claiming that “owning a pet, particularly a dog, could reduce your risk of heart disease.”
Well there it is. If you have a dog or cat in your care, not only do you have a cuddly friend to play with, but without even realizing it, you might even be improving your mental and physical health.