What’s So Good About Having a Pet?

There are many health benefits of owning a pet. They can increase opportunities to excercise, get outside and socialize. Regular walking or playing with pets can decrease blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and triglyceride levels. Pets can help manage loneliness and depression by giving us companionship. While it’s true that people with pets often experience greater health benefits than those without, a pet doesn’t really have to be a dog or a cat. A rabbit could for example be an ideal pet if a person is allergic to dog or cat hair of have limited space.

Birds are another set of animals that can be healthy for people. They can encourage social interaction and keep the mind sharp if your’e an older adult. Snakes, lizards and other reptiles are good as pets as well for they can make for good aquatic companions. Even watching fish in an aquarium can help reduce muscle tension and lower the pulse rate (now, THIS I did NOT know!). One of the reasons for these therapeutic effects is that pets fulfill the basic need for human touch. Stroking, hugging and touching a loving animal can rapidly soothe and calm a person when he or she is stressed out or anxious.

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