Could Pets Be the Key to Heart Health?

Posted on June 13 2013

Anyone knows that having a pet can be one of the most rewarding and happy things that we experience in our lives. Pets become just as close to us as a family member would because they are such loyal, loving companions. Could these 4-legged friends be more than just a best friend? The answer is yes. Experts say that these furry friends of ours could be boosting your heart health.

An official statement released by the American Heart Association says that having a pet, especially a dog, could lower the risk of heart disease. Doctors and surgeons of Cardiology weren’t at all surprised by this news. The director of the Center for Cardiovascular Lifestyle Medicine at the Winthrop University Hospital in Mineola, NY says, “Studies have shown people who own pets, particularly dogs, have lowered blood pressure, increased mood-related brain chemicals, better cholesterol numbers, lower weight and improved stress response”.

People who have dogs tend to get more exercise because they take their dogs out for walks. Studies found that people who have dogs have more physical activity than those who don’t own dogs, and that dog owners were 54% more likely to get the recommended level of physical activity. Having pets can also have a positive effect on the body’s reaction to stress. Being around these little furry friends can be a tool for weight loss, socialization, calming of nerves and the overall easing of anxiety and depression.

Pets - especially dogs - are typically happy, energetic animals to be around and this can be contagious. If you are down in the dumps and you walk in the door from a long day of work, what could be better than your 4-legged friend there with his tail wagging, never happier to see you? Dogs give off a positive vibe because they are always happy and excited to see their caretakers, which will immediately lift from stress and bring a smile to your face.

There are thousands of dogs who need to be adopted out there, so if you are looking to find a new friend and companion to lift your spirits and improve your overall heart heath, find out how you can help! Dogs can be a big responsibility, but owning one has so many benefits that the bad will definitely outweigh the good. If you already have a dog, hug them a little tighter today to thank them for serving up such a positive force in your life!




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