How Pets Can Keep You Healthy
They take over your bed. They bum every morsel on your plate. They wake you at ungodly hours, even on the weekends, just to play.
No, we’re not talking about your human babies. We’re talking about your pets. And as maddening as those four-legged little rascals can be, you wouldn’t trade them for the world.
But did you know that your pets aren’t just enriching your life – they’re probably saving it as well. More and more studies are proving what pet owners have long known: that our animals aren’t just animals. They’re superheroes in disguise.
Read on to learn how your pet could be making you not only happier but healthier too!
It probably should come as no surprise that the little creature that’s pretty much nothing but joy on four legs would significantly improve the heart health of their humans. A study by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) showed that dog owners tend to have lower cholesterol and are also more likely to survive a heart attack than non-dog owners.
Pet parents tend to be more physically active, have less stress, and lower blood pressure than those who don’t have fur babies to love and care for. And what all that equates to is a decreased risk of heart attack, stroke, and heart disease.
The thing about being a pet parent is that another life is entrusted to your care. Their needs require attending to, no exceptions and no excuses. So when your furball needs your help, you’re going to get off the couch and take care of it.
Whether you’re frolicking with Fido in the park or you’re lighting up Fifi’s life with the kitty laser, caring for your pets is going to get you moving. Movement is important for pet parents of any age, but it’s especially crucial for seniors.
The longer you can keep active as you age, the healthier, happier, and more vital you’re going to be. You’ll have better balance and higher muscle mass than those who are sedentary. And, if you’re exercising, walking, and even moving frequently from a sitting to standing position, you’ll strengthen your vascular system, reducing your risk of blood clots and painful varicose veins.
That is yet one more gift your four-legged baby can give you.
Fit and Trim
And even as your little guy or gal gives you the gift of good health, the least you can do is return the favor. Or, as your Buster might say, “I scratch your tummy, you scratch mine.” That begins with helping your pets stay fighting trim.
The obesity epidemic in the US has been widely publicized in recent decades. But America’s pets are facing an obesity crisis all their own. The fact is that our animals are often a direct reflection of their parents’ lifestyle.
And if you’re spending the better part of your day parked in front of the television or computer, scarfing high sugar, high-fat snacks, odds are your four-legged friend is going to be right beside you, lounging and munching away. Seeing your baby struggling with her weight, laboring to breathe, or simply to move, and just feeling awful in general might well be the motivation you need to change your life so that you can change theirs.
As you learn to feed your pet healthy, nutritious foods instead of the junk you’ve both been mainlining, then you’re probably also going to start focusing more on your own diet and lifestyle.
Your little fluffer might just be the motivation you need to move away from dangerous fad diets and build a lifestyle that ensures you’ll both be around for a long while to come. After all, if you’re going to be able to take care of them for the rest of their lives, then you’re going to need to take care of yourself too!
Dr. Feel Good
Your pets aren’t just great for your physical health, of course. It’s probably the emotional benefits that are the real selling point. Your little one is the epitome of unconditional love. And when you’re battling depression or anxiety, there is nothing like the calming presence of your animal companion. When you’re feeling lower than low, all you have to do is look into the eyes of a sweet little being who thinks you hung the moon to feel better. When you’re feeling alone, all you need is the gentle snoring of Pete the Pug asleep by your side, the purring of Priscilla the Persian on your chest, to remind you you’re not.
Our fur babies are our friends. Our four-legged children. They’re the source of entertainment and frustration. Of comfort on a terrible day and of sorrow when they cross the rainbow bridge. But our fur babies are also the best medicine imaginable, the best therapy nature ever invented. They not only make our lives better. They make our lives longer, healthier, and much, much happier.
Noah Yarnol Rue is always looking where his next trip will take him . When he’s not traveling the world, he’s writing articles on the new things he learns. Noah also enjoys a good meme from time to time. You can find Noah on LinkedIn.