Pets are known to have a positive impact on human health. They provide companionship, social support, and unconditional love which can improve mental and physical health. Pets also teach children about responsibility and empathy and can help them learn to cope with difficult situations.
Pets have also been shown to have benefits for the cardiovascular system. Studies have found that pets can reduce blood pressure, heart rate, and anxiety levels in times of stress, which decreases the risk of cardiovascular disease by helping to manage stress.
Studies have reported that dog or cat owners are more likely than non-owners to meet federal guidelines for physical activity, which is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
Pets also reduce the risk of asthma and allergies in children because they frequently expose them to novel animal proteins before their immune systems are fully developed. This exposure results in the development of normal immune responses instead of abnormal allergic reactions.
Pets can also improve the lives of people with mental illnesses. For example, a randomized controlled trial found that adults diagnosed with major depressive disorder who received therapeutic support dogs had significantly fewer depressive symptoms compared to those who did not receive support dogs. Pets can also encourage social interactions and provide opportunities for practical help from others due to pet owners’ perceived responsibility for their pets.
Pets also encourage children’s participation in family activities, such as walking the dog or cleaning out the fish tank. This can be particularly beneficial to young people who experience stress and who lack social support and opportunities for positive interactions with others.
Studies have also found that supportive friendships experienced by pet owners give them a sense of well-being which reduces the symptoms of minor depression and anxiety.
Pets can play an important role in the lives of children who are coping with adversity, such as illness or trauma, by providing comfort and reassurance during difficult times. They can also help teach children about responsibility and caregiving that they may not receive elsewhere. Pets can provide unconditional love which is especially important for children who have deficiencies in their relationships with parents or other adults.
Pets also help adults cope by providing companionship and support during difficult times, such as divorce or family illness. For example, studies have found that keeping pets helps children who are chronically absent from school due to illness attend more regularly.
Pets provide a number of benefits for humans and can play an important role in the lives of people who are coping with adversity. They provide companionship, social support, and unconditional love which can improve mental and physical health.