By Nao Mitsutomi
If you’re reading this, chances are you’re a huge animal lover! We all know that pets are wonderful, sweet, amazing companions that enhance our lives in all aspects–including our own health! Here are some fun science-based facts about the benefits of having a cat and/or dog!
- They can lower risk of heart disease.
- Studies have found that owning a cat can lower your stress levels, which in turn affects your risk of cardiovascular disease–they can lower your risk by around 30 percent!
- Their purring helps to heal bones, muscles, and tendons.
- Cat purrs create vibrations at a frequency of 20-140 Hz. Studies have shown that frequencies in the 18-35 Hz range have a positive effect on joint mobility after injury, and there have been talks by scientists about how cat purring could help humans!
- They reduce stress and anxiety.
- Having cats around can trigger the release of calming chemicals in your body, lowering stress and anxiety levels!
- They relieve stress and are good for your heart. Literally.
- One study has found that playing with a dog or even just petting one almost immediately lowers blood pressure and heart rate, slows breathing, and relaxes muscle tension!
- The “American Journal of Cardiology” published research about a study of 369 heart attack patients one year after they were released from the hospital, comparing survival rates between pet owners and non-pet owners. The research concluded that the connection between humans and dogs reduces stress–a major cause of cardiovascular problems.
- Improved mental health.
- Dog owners are less likely to experience depression compared to non-pet owners. The interaction and love received from a dog can help uplift moods, and even just looking at your pet increases the amount of oxytocin, the “feel good” chemical, in the brain.
- You’re more resistant to allergies.
- While dog dander can be a trigger for people with allergies, children who grow up in a house with a dog are less likely to develop allergies throughout the course of their lives!