It’s the end of the day and you are headed home with your head bowed. Something made you particularly tired and upset at the office. You come up to the door and absent-mindedly fumble with the keys. You are so exhausted you cannot seem to think straight.
Things change once you step inside. Almost instantly, you feel better.
That soothing calm you feel when your dog comes padding up to welcome you is not just your imagination.
Science proves it.
Research shows that pets are good for human health. Simply being in the same room with your pet can produce a calming effect.
“Pets often provide unconditional acceptance and love and they’re always there for you,” Dr. Gary A. Christenson of the Boynton Health Service tells Time Magazine.
In fact, researchers at the State University of New York have found that people with hypertension can cut their blood pressure levels by half if they owned a cat or dog.
Dogs, in particular, are good for your heart. They motivate exercise and are good companions on long walks.
Scientists in Europe and the US in fact claim that owning a dog lowers your risk of heart disease.
Cats and Dogs, Young and Old
Pets are good for children, too. A study suggests that babies exposed to pets before they are six months old are less likely to develop allergies.
Pets allow healthy aging in elderly people, according to the same study. Around 73 percent of elderly pet owners claim their pet provided them with a sense of purpose.
Close to 80 percent of the elderly respondents said their pets reduced their stress. Some 65 percent declared that their pets helped them socialize.
Horses produce a similar effect on people who suffer from depression and psychological trauma, experts claim.
Riding horses can be exhilarating. Horses have a unique ability to sense human emotions. They react accordingly.
Witnessing a horse’s response to our psychological state promotes self-awareness. This is among the reasons why many mental health professionals recommend the benefits of equine therapy.
Do you have a pet? How is your health?