4 Reasons Having Pets is Good for Your Health

Dog chasing a ball in a yard

I have two dogs: Kickstand, a 10-year-old 60-pound mutt who thinks he’s 3, and Foxy, who is about 35 pounds and 4 years old. I’ll be the first to tell you that, sometimes, these two knuckleheads do things that dogs normally do, like counter surfing, digging holes in the lawn, etc. I will also tell you, as crazy as it makes me, I wouldn’t trade them for anything.

Even though they aren’t 100 percent trained (admittedly my fault and not theirs), the happiness they bring me is well worth any of their habits. And besides the unconditional love they give me, they also do a lot for my health.

I asked Jay Kurth, DO, from the Banner Health Center in Fort Collins what the health benefits of owning a dog were, and he gave me these four reasons.

  1. Battles the blues. Nothing helps get rid of a bad day more than being greeted at the door by a wagging tail. It’s that unconditional love that a dog has for its owner that really can turn your mood around.
  2. Increases activity. Try living a sedentary life with a dog demanding to go for walks, to have a ball thrown or needing to go outside. It’s not possible, and that’s a good thing. Exercise is something you and your pet need.
  3. Takes care of the heart. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health have conducted separate studies involving pet owners, which show that people who own pets have lower blood pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride levels. That, of course, is good for your heart.
  4. Reduces chances for children to develop allergies. Sounds strange, doesn’t it? Normally, you would think that a pet would increase the odds that a child would develop allergies, but studies show that it can reduce the likelihood a child develops allergies later on by as much as 33 percent. Not only that, but children exposed to pets earlier on tend to develop stronger immune systems.

I think it’s pretty amazing what a pet can do for you, but I want to know what you think? Share in the comments!

Tags from the story
Written By
More from Jason Webb

3 Tips to Ensure Your Toddler Doesn’t Dehydrate

Do you know if your children are drinking enough water? Do you...
Read More