Doctor Dog: How Your Pets Are Keeping You Happy and Healthy

Miley Legal Group

According to the ASPCA, more than 60% of households contain a pet or pets; that’s more households than include children under the age of 18.  Of course, to many pet owners, these animals are family, and are treated like their owners’ children.  They feed them, bathe them, and care for them.  The animals even sleep with them and go on family vacations.  They bring joy to the lives of many, but did you know that they also provide several health benefits?

That’s right – Fido is helping you live both a happier and healthier life.

According to the Huffington Post, having a dog in the home during the first year of a baby’s life can boost the baby’s immune system.  Research has shown that kids in dog-owning homes had 31% fewer respiratory tract infections and 44% fewer ear infections. And living in a household with pets during infancy makes the development of allergies later in life far less likely.

Pets aren’t just good for babies though; pet-ownership can lead to health benefits for adults too.  Animals can help lower blood pressure levels, and studies have shown that sufferers of heart attacks tend to live longer if they have a pet.  Alzheimer’s patients suffer fewer outbursts of anxiety, and during the medical screenings of people 75 and over, insurance agencies will ask about the ownership of a pet as potential points in their favor.

Even the effects of constant affection and love can be shown by scientific evidence; petting and playing with our furry friends boosts levels of serotonin and dopamine while decreasing amounts of chemicals like cortisol, a hormone that is linked to stress.

So pet-parents, take good care of your animals, because they sure are taking good care of you.