10 Ways Your Pets Help You Live Longer

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Have you ever considered getting a pet? There are many good reasons to decide to adopt a furry friend, but did you ever consider that owning a pet could actually help you live longer? It may seem odd, but it’s true. There are several ways a pet can add years to your life. Following are just 10 of these reasons.

  1. catOwning a pet can help people maintain their independence. This is especially true with the elderly or infirm. Animals, particularly dogs, can be specially trained to help people with disorders such as Parkinson’s disease. These service dogs can be trained to fetch needed items and even assist with balance issues. By helping people remain independent, these animals help to sustain the lives of these individuals.
  1. Pets can also help people with disabilities. For years animals have been used to help guide the blind and assist hearing impaired individuals. In more recent years pets have been trained to also help people with seizure disorders and mental illness among other disorders. Without these pets, people with these issues would have a tough struggle in front of them. Their pets make their lives easier and therefore help them to live longer more productive lives.
  1. Animals have also been known to help with the emotional and psychological well-being of their owners. It has been found that pet owners have higher self-esteem. Animals provide social support to their owners. These benefits most certainly have a positive effect on the physical well-being of pet owners and help to increase the longevity of their lives.
  1. Pets are great mood enhancers. Since pet owners need to care for another living being, they are provided with a sense of meaning and purpose. This mindset creates a feeling of control over circumstances and results in having a long, fulfilling life.
  1. Pets help to alleviate stress, not only at an emotional level but at a physical one as well. According to WebMD, the simple act of petting an animal can release a relaxation hormone as well as lower cortisol, a stress hormone. So, owning a pet can easily save some serious wear and tear on the human body and shave years off of people’s lives.
  1. It’s no secret that having a pet can increase someone’s physical fitness level. Animals, particularly dogs, need a lot of physical activity. Taking a dog for a walk and playing with him in the back yard are both great ways for someone to increase their own physical activity level. This will ultimately result in overall increased physical wellness.
  1. It may seem amazing, but owning a pet can help children who suffer from the effects of ADHD. Being required to care for a pet on a set schedule will help kids who suffer with this disorder by requiring them to have a set plan that forces them to take on responsibility. Also, the simple act of playing with a pet can burn off the excess energy that often accompanies ADHD.
  1. There are also some very specific ways in which animals can increase someone’s wellness. It has been found that pet ownership can lead to stronger bones; this is another direct result from the weight-bearing exercise of dog walking. Also, walking a dog allows people to get sun exposure which is provides Vitamin D, essential for bone strength. So anyone who is looking to increase their bone density or wants to ward off osteoporosis or broken limbs should most definitely consider getting a dog.
  1. Diabetes has become a major issue in the United States. Thankfully, owning a pet can help people cope with this very serious disease. Dogs are able to detect through their scent when their owner’s blood sugar has dropped. This allows them to act as an alarm that has been known to save the owner’s life.
  2. Owning a pet is heart-healthy. Studies have shown that owning a pet can prevent strokes, help to lower cholesterol, and regulate blood pressure. Since heart disease is the major killer of both men and women, owning a pet is a great way to keep a ticker in check.

There are so many positive effects a pet can have on someone’s life. If you are looking to increase your healthfulness and add years to your life, you should strongly consider owning a pet. It could be the best decision you make.