You may want to get a dog because you think they are cute and fun, or you may have your eye on a kitty because you want a fluffy, warm companion for afternoon naps. But what you may not know is that pets can do more than make you feel good and act as a fun companion—they can actually help you to live longer.
Can Owning a Pet Make You Live Longer?
Health Benefits of Pets
Several studies have been performed on the health benefits of pets. Some studies have shown that having a pet can lower your blood pressure, your heart rate, and even your cholesterol levels. Those with pets have been found to have lower death rates than those without pets, and pet owners have even been shown to have a higher likelihood of being able to survive a heart attack.
One reason that pets can convey these health benefits is that they help to lower stress levels. Just think about how you feel when you sit down and rub your cat’s head after a long day at work. It helps to calm you. You listen to the cat purring, feel the soft fur, and enjoy the rhythm of the petting. It likely feels just as good to you as it does to the cat.
Pets can have cognitive benefits for the elderly, as well. Walking a dog or interacting with pets has been shown to have a positive impact on the parasympathetic nervous system, which improves neural activity. Owning a pet can fight the cognitive decline that can come with aging, protecting against dementia and memory losses.
Caring for Your Pet
The longer your pet lives, the more benefits you will get. Your relationship should be a long and mutually beneficial one. Make sure you are getting your pet regular checkups with a vet and that you feed the best-quality food you can afford. Provide plenty of exercise and interaction to improve your pet’s physical and mental health.
Make sure you have the number of a good pet hospital on hand so that you can get emergency care when it’s needed. Every minute counts when your pet is injured or has a serious illness. Know who to call to get your pet the essential medical care he needs.
Owning a pet can be a fulfilling and wonderful experience. It turns out that it can also save your life. You can life a longer and healthier life with a pet.