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Nov 13, 2012

Is Pet At Home Good For Your Health

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Companionship and love are just a few of the reasons people own pets. 62 % of American households own pets of all shapes, size, colors and breeds. But is there more to being a pet owner than teaching Fido to sit? This post and infographic explores the connection between health and pets.

Pets are good for you

Pets have proven to be good for our health in many ways. But how? Read on.

Healing from heart attacks - A national Institutes of Health study showed that heart attack sufferers who owned dogs had a better one-year survival after the attack than those who were pet-less.

Lowering blood pressure - Studies show that people with pets have lower heart rates and blood pressure.

Stress reduction - Pet lovers recover quicker from stress and have less of it.

Staying skinny - Dog owners are less likely to be obese, due to being more physically active when walking their pets.

Better mobility - Even as they age, pet owners stay more mobile, thanks to their furry friends.

Lower cholesterol - Studies show that owning a pet can lower cholesterol and triglycerides.

How animals help

Animal Assisted Therapy - Trained dogs (and other pets) can help rehab patients walk again, teach life skills to children with educational needs, and help in mental health facilities.

Autistic Assistance - Dogs and other pets can reduce levels of cortisol in children with autism and have been found to reduce behavioral incidents.

Seeing eye dogs - Specially trained dogs help their blind or limited-visibility owners get around.

Hippo-therapy - Horses can help children with cerebral palsy improve balance and muscle strength.

Pets and Allergies pros and cons

The other side of the pets and health equation is allergies. Studies suggest that kids who grow up with animals with fur have less risk of allergies and asthma. Out of the 50 million people in the U.S. that have allergies, 1/2 of them are allergic to cat dander. Other allergies include fur and feathers.

Disease prevention

Animals are extremely sensitive when it comes to detecting disease and deaths. Here are few intriguing stories.
  1. Sensing Seizures - Dogs seem to have a sixth sense about predicting epileptic seizures, according to a British study. Thirty-seven pet dogs were studied, and it was found that before a seizure took over the owner each pet showed sign of anxiety of restlessness nuzzled their owners, or went to get help.
  2. Catting around with death - A Rhode Island cat named Oscar earned his claim to fame by predicting the next death in the nursing home where he lives. He strolls the halls and curls up with a patient, who dies within hours. Nursing staff have used their four-legged death detector to alert family members of their loved ones' limited time.
  3. Tracking tumors - Dogs seem to be able to sniff out breast and lung cancer, according to another study. Once they are trained, dogs can predict these types of cancer to an 88% - 97% accuracy rate.

Having a pet at home (if your family allows and you can afford) can really lift your spirits and help to keep you healthy. If you don't have one yet, you should reconsider it now!

Is Pet At Home Good For Your health infographic

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