Studies have shown that the bond between people and their pets can increase fitness, lower stress, and bring happiness to their owners. Some of the health benefits of having a pet include: decreased blood pressure, decreased cholesterol and triglyceride levels, decreased feelings of loneliness and increased opportunities for socialization.
Pet ownership, particularly dog ownership, may have some causal role in reducing CVD risk.
Ongoing research is showing that the health benefits of owning a dog are undeniable. Dog owners have lower blood pressure and healthier cholesterol levels, and a lower risk of heart disease, than non-owners.
Dog walking was associated with lower body mass index, fewer activities of daily living limitations, fewer doctor visits, and more frequent moderate and vigorous exercise. People with higher degrees of pet bonding were more likely to walk their dog and to spend more time walking their dog each time, but they reported walking a shorter distance with their dog than those with weaker pet bonds. Dog ownership was not associated with better physical health or health behaviors.
Setting the one health agenda and the human-companion animal bond – The goal of this paper is to briefly review some of the evidenced-based data concerning the benefits of having companion animals in our lives, focusing on four major areas; cancer, heart disease, autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and the potential positive economic effects of the human-companion animal bond on One Health.
Substantial sums of money are invested annually in preventative medicine and therapeutic treatment for people with a wide range of physical and psychological health problems, sometimes to no avail. There is now mounting evidence to suggest that companion animals, such as dogs and cats, can enhance the health of their human owners and may thus contribute significantly to the health expenditure of our country.
The 12-year study included over 3.4 million Swedish adults ages 40 to 80. Using data from national health sources and dog ownership registries, researchers found that dog owners had a lower risk of death due to heart disease.
Owning pets is associated with reducing your risk of heart disease, and there are a variety of reasons that may be at work that influence this relationship. It may be that healthier people are more likely to be pet owners or that people with dogs tend to exercise more. Pets also play a role in providing social support to their owners, which is an important factor in helping you stick with a new habit or adopting a new healthy behavior.
Having a pet helps elderly get out of the house, exercise, meet new people, reduce stress, etc.
Examples of therapy animals improving the physical, social & emotional health of clients
For elderly pet owners, who often live alone or in group facilities, pets can help reduce stress, lower blood pressure, increase social interaction and physical activity and help them learn.
Supports health benefits of owning a pet.
Online magazine article supporting benefits of pet ownership in elderly
Supports the benefits for elderly with companion animals.