6 ways pets improve your health

There are numerous reports about how pets affect your health in a positive way. Here is what some of the experts have to say about the connection between pets and your health:

Overall well being

“We found that pet owners, on average, were better off than non-owners, especially when they have a higher-quality relationship with their pets,”

-Professor Allen R. McConnell, PhD from Miami University

Faster recovery time

“It used to be one of the great no-no’s to think of an animal in a hospital. Now, I don’t know of any major children’s hospital that doesn’t have at least some kind of animal program.”

-Alan Beck, director of the Center for the Human-Animal Bond at Purdue University

Metal health

“Pets often provide unconditional acceptance and love and they’re always there for you. There is a bond and companionship that makes a big difference in mental health.”

-Gary A. Christenson, MD, chief medical officer at Boynton Health Service at the University of Minnesota

Lower stress

“A powerful neurochemical, oxytocin, is released when we look at our companion animal, which brings feelings of joy. It’s also accompanied by a decrease in cortisol, a stress hormone.”

-Rebecca A. Johnson, PhD, director of the Research Center for Human-Animal Interaction at the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine

Decrease allergies

“In the first year of life, babies who are exposed to dogs in the household are more likely not to have allergies, asthma, and fewer upper respiratory infections. If exposed at an early age to dander and allergens, we may be less reactive to them over time.”

-Rebecca A. Johnson, PhD, director of the Research Center for Human-Animal Interaction at the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine

Cardiovascular health

“Pet ownership, especially having a dog, is probably associated with a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease. There is some evidence that owning a dog is associated with lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels.”

-Harvard Health Publishing, Harvard Medical School