Over 71 million families are pet owners, which is about 62% of the general public. Scientific studies reveal what many of us find obvious: We think of our animals as a part of our family—comparable to how we feel about our children, but studies also reveal how significantly beneficial pets are to one’s health and daily life. Pet health and personal health are intertwined.
Waipahu Waikele Pet Hospital discusses the impact and benefits of having a pet as a part of the household:
- Animal companions are linked to lower death rates and enhanced well being. Their presence is also linked to lower cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, and a healthier immune system. In a 2002 publication of Psychosomatic Medicine, it is noted that pet presence reduced the cardiovascular effects of stress significantly when compared to the company of a sibling or close friend. Other studies support a higher survival rate among heart attack sufferers who have pets one year after the incident.
- Interactions with visiting companion dogs by the elderly in nursing homes lead to more reported social interaction among residents over time, as shown in a 2011 study on “animal-assisted interventions in health care contexts.”
- College-age women, in other studies, were shown to be more stress-free when living with animals rather than living alone. These individuals, who seem to live alone, are part of a family.
- Humans are social creatures and need affection. Touch is a stress soother for adult, child, and pet. When engaged in caring touch, the body releases a relaxation hormone good for heart health and improved holistic health. Of course, pets have their varying moods and reactions, but they are a reinforcement of unconditional love when treated in the same fashion. Pet owners are care givers but so are the animals—the relationship is a mutually nurturing one.
It’s true, for the most part, that animals are social creatures, just like humans. They get their pet owners out and about, starting conversations, leading to more interactions and healthier life bonds. They engage in more physical activity. They relieve depression, pain, and stress among all ages. Over time, pet owners report happier households, better personal health, and strong relationships with their pets—not too different from the joy parents feel when having a child.
The animal-human bond is a transformational relationship. Animal care as family care is the top priority at Waipahu Waikele Pet Hospital. Please contact Waipahu Waikele Pet Hospital at (808) 671-7387 with any questions or concerns about pet health or their pet services.