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Have you ever gotten home after a long stressful day at work and had your dog greet you at the door with a wagging tail, happy to see you, or your cat purr and walk around your legs rubbing against you? It feels good, it’s a nice welcome home from the animal kingdom! I had a cat growing up and sometimes I would wake up to the cat purring next to me and that purr was relaxing and put me at ease, and I never knew why until now.

It turns out that cats and dogs are not only nice companions but there are extraordinary health benefits to having them as pets. Let’s take a look at the health benefits of a pet companion.

Pet’s Lower Blood Pressure, Reduce Heart Attack Risk & More…

  1. Pets Reduce Stress & Make You Happier:

    Believe it or not by simply spending a few minutes with your pet you can reduce cortisol (a stress hormone) as well s boost serotonin, a happy hormone that makes you feel better and reduces pain. Spending time with your pets helps to balance hormones in your favor as well as calm your nerves.

  2. Lower Blood Pressure & Heart Rates:

    In one study with 240 married couples they found that pet owners had lower blood pressure and resting heart rates than those who did not have a pet. Another study found that children with hypertension had lower blood pressure while petting their dog.

  3. Lower Cholesterol:

    Researchers have not only found lower blood pressure, heart rates, and stress hormones but they also found that pet owners had lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels than those who did not own pets. This could be contributed partially to the lifestyle of the pet owners, walking the dog as opposed to not walking at all etc.

  4. Cope With Depression:

    Some therapists recommend getting a dog or pet if you’re suffering from depression. Petting your dog or cat helps you to cope with depression better and animals are surprisingly keen to emotional states in humans so they can care for you when you need it.

  5. Dogs Keep You Fit!:

    If you own a dog you have to take it for walks and this causes dog owners to be more physically fit overall than those who do not own dogs. Walking is one of the best health regulation exercise practices for digestion, heart health, brain health and overall synergy in the body. Walking also burns fat quite well!

  6. Less Allergies:

    Children are less likely to develop allergies if they grow up in a home with a cat or dog. This was also found with kid’s who grow up on farms. Children develop a stronger more resilient immune system which benefits their health later in life.

It turns out pets are much more than nice companions. They benefit your brain chemistry, hormones, stress levels, nervous system, heart health, cholesterol and overall peace of mind. This may make you think twice about visiting an animal shelter to adopt a dog or cat! Take a look at how cats benefit your health in this info-graphic below: