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Five Pawsitive Health Effects of Pets

shutterstock_310796843Every year, people make all kinds of resolutions to lose weight, get healthier, get more exercise, and get outside more. One of the best ways to get started is to get a pet. Many scientific studies have proven that pets can have a “pawsitive” effect on your overall health. Did you know: 

Pets can improve your physical fitness: Even small changes can help improve your fitness. Play time along with simply getting up and down to let your pet in and out can be a workout, depending on the pet. Even better? Take them outside for regular walks, or to the park where they can play and run with other dogs. One other bonus – it’s good for your pet’s health, too!

Pets are natural mood enhancers: Studies show that pet owners are generally happier and less lonely than people without pets. A faithful pet companion can provide you with years of unconditional love, and their cuteness factor will definitely lift your spirits!

Pets can help lower your blood pressure: Just petting an animal lowers your blood pressure naturally by increasing levels of oxytocin, a hormone related to emotional bonding that also promotes the feeling of calmness.

Pets can help prevent allergies in children: A clinical study showed that very young children who have been exposed to pets were less likely to develop hay fever, asthma, allergies and eczema as they got older, and had fewer upper respiratory infections than children who had not been exposed to pets.

Pets can help lower your cardiovascular risk: According to the American Heart Association, numerous studies of pet ownership and health risks concluded that pets, particularly dogs, are associated with a reduction in risk and increased survival rates among patients. Pets help lower cholesterol, stress, and blood pressure levels which can help reduce the risk factors for developing cardiovascular disease.