Boost your health—get a pet

Forget supplements, a puss or a pooch could be just what you need for better health!

30 Sep 2017 By Leanne Philpott Comments

Australia’s pet-owning population is growing and for good reason—pets make us happier and healthier!

More than 63% of Aussie households own a pet and of those who don’t currently own a pet, 53% say they would like to have a furry friend in the future and for good reason; research shows that pet ownership brings with it a myriad health benefits, both psychological and physical.

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Health benefits of owning a pet

According to the Australian Companion Animal Council (ACAC), in comparison to non-pet owners:

  • People who own pets typically visit the doctor less often and use less medication
  • Pet owners, on average have lower cholesterol and lower blood pressure
  • Pet owners recover more quickly from illness and surgery
  • Pet owners deal better with stressful situations
  • Pet owners show lower levels of risk factors associated with heart disease
  • Elderly pet owners report an increased quality of life and companionship
  • Pet owners are less likely to report feeling lonely

https://flickr.com/You see, so our cute and cuddly pals could be the perfect prescription for a longer and less stressful life. What’s more, studies have shown that kids who grown up sharing their home with a dog or cat have reduced risk of developing allergies and asthma.

Pets help protect children against allergies

Researches at The University of California San Francisco (UCSF) believe they have discovered the reason why children who are exposed to a dog in the house in early infancy are at reduced risk of developing allergies and asthma.

They found that the dust from houses where canine pets live both indoors and outdoors can alter the microbes that live in the gut and diminish immune system reactivity to common allergens.

The study was carried out on mice but researchers believe the results explain the reduced allergy risk amongst kids who have been living with a dog since birth.

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Similarly, research has shown that owning a cat or dog in early childhood can reduce the likelihood of developing allergies to those animals later on in life.

Research conducted at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit found that being exposed to cats or dogs at home during the first year of life was the most important factor in the reduced risk of going on to develop a cat or dog allergy in older years.

Bubs born into cat-owning home were approximately 50% less likely to develop a cat allergy than those born into cat-free homes.

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Of course, there’s more to owning a cat or dog that just reaping the potential health benefits, but if you are toying with the idea, this might be another item for to Cons list!

Do you think being a pet owner makes you a happier or healthier person?

30 Sep 2017 By Leanne Philpott Comments

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