Pets not only offer companionship and unconditional love but there are many health benefits of owning a pet. Pets can help with stress and loneliness, especially among the elderly and people with disabilities. Moreover, a publication from Harvard Health Publishing called ”Having a dog can help your heart” proved that most pet owners have lower cholesterol and controlled blood pressure than those who don’t own pets. These two factors play a significant role in decreasing the risk of cardiovascular disease.
How do pets improve your heart health?
1. A pet can lower the risk of heart disease and improve your fitness
The physical activity from walking your dog or playing with pets can be an excellent aerobic activity that strengthens your heart. A stronger heart pumps blood more efficiently, which improves blood flow to all parts of your body. Dog lovers are more likely to have brisk walks often. Brisk walking can lessen the risk of high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and high cholesterol levels. It can also help in weight loss, improved muscle tone, lung capacity, and bone health. Pets make great companions, and they love routine. As such, they are excellent personal trainers who can help you improve your heart health. Adults should have moderate exercise weekly, and your pet will help you do just that.
2. Pets can lower blood pressure
Walking your dog can lift your mood and calm you down, helping you handle stress better. Managing stress is a good idea for your overall health. A few studies have examined how reducing the effects of stress can positively impact your cardiovascular health. According to a study conducted in Sweden in 2017 called ”Dog ownership and the risk of cardiovascular disease and death”, many people between the ages of 40 and 80 are at a lower risk of heart disease and heart attack, thanks to dog ownership. One of the reasons for this is by alleviating psychosocial stress factors.
3. Pets help with loneliness
Pets help in the reduction of feelings of loneliness. As a pet owner, you’re likely to interact with others. As such, pet lovers tend to have healthier relationships and are more outgoing. Although it’s good to have time alone, long periods of loneliness can heighten your risk for depression and even interfere with your sleep patterns. When you have better relationships, you’re less likely to get stressed or suffer from high blood pressure making you less susceptible to heart disease or stroke.
If you own a dog or are thinking about it, the potential benefits for your heart health are a nice plus. They can put a smile on your face every day and keep you moving. However, pets should not be adopted for the primary purpose of reducing heart disease risk. And definitely don’t add a dog to your life if you’re not ready or able to take care of one. This means feeding them, giving them a comfortable home, grooming them with a suitable brush, and making sure they get enough exercise.
Written by Heman Thuranira who is a content writer who takes pride in providing engaging, and high-quality digital content to help educate.