5 Ways Your Pet Makes You Heart Healthy

April 23, 2014

We all love our pets, but did you know that your pet is actually improving your health? The companionship of your favorite pet helps you feel loved and adored, giving your body a break from everyday stressors. Pets also give us a sense of purpose and belonging, two very important things for overall physical and mental health. Here are five more scientifically proven ways that our pets help our hearts stay healthy:
1. Pets make healthy hearts: Studies show that owning a pet makes you less likely to have heart disease and other heart conditions. Most pet owners walk their dogs or play with their cats, causing them to be more active and build stronger hearts.
2. Pets help your heart recover: If you already have heart disease or another heart condition, don’t worry—your pet will still help you out! Pet owners who already have heart disease or a heart condition are proven more likely to live longer and more productively than patients with the same heart conditions that do not own a pet.
3. Pets are stress soothers: 70-90% of all human’s doctor visits in the U.S. are due to stress related illnesses and ailments, including high blood pressure and other heart problems. Pets are our secret weapon against stress! Studies show that when a person pets an animal their blood pressure and stress hormones lower, allowing their body to enter a “stress free” zone!
4. Pets are health boosters: Having a pet doesn’t just make health ailments disappear, it also helps your body create more serotonin and norepinephrine, two important hormones that regulate mood, cognition and blood pressure, amongst other things. Studies show that when pet owners are active, playing or walking their pets these two hormones are elevated, giving your body an extra boost!
5. Cats may have an advantage: Cat owners may also have a specific, but mysterious advantage. People who have never owned a cat are 40% more likely to die of a heart attack and 30% more likely to die from other cardiovascular diseases. Though the exact reason is unknown, it sure seems like a great reason to add a cat to your pet family!

We already knew that animals were good for our hearts, but now we have the scientific studies to prove it! Owning a pet can be a key part of living a happy and heart healthy life!
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