April 25, 2018

Seven Reasons to Adopt a Shelter Pet for Your Health

Author: Lynn Gricus

Owning A Pet Is Healthy!

Not only does adopting a shelter pet help save the life of an animal in need, but rescuing a pet can offer surprising human health benefits!

Decrease Stress. In a 2002 study researchers discovered people had less stress response when with a pet than even a spouse, family member, or close friend. In fact, pet-friendly rehabilitation centers are becoming more common than ever before.

Lower Blood Pressure. Patients already diagnosed as hypertensive may reap even more benefits from daily life with a pet, and even the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) admits, “if you have a dog around, your blood pressure is lower.” Researchers suspect the blood pressure benefits are related to stress reduction.

Pain relief. Unlikely as it seems, pets really are one of the best medicines! Comparable to the anxiety relief of Valium, pets can provide a reduction from chronic aches and pains. A Loyola University study found that people recovering from surgery needed significantly less pain medication when using pet therapy.

Lower Cholesterol. According to the CDC, there is a link between people who own pets and those having significantly lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels than non-pet owners, especially among men. Researchers are still investigating whether the presence of the pet decreases the negative cholesterol and triglyceride levels or if pet owners tend to live healthier lifestyles.

Better Mood. Whether it’s coming home to an excited dog or the purr of a kitty on your chest, their unconditional loving energy is infectious. Pet ownership is linked to decreased suicide rates, and is also used extensively and successfully with veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Stroke Prevention. Research shows that you’re up to 40 percent less likely to have a stroke if you own a cat. But if you do, dog ownership makes it more likely that you’ll be alive a year later.

Having pets is beneficial for both you and them! As April 30th is Adopt a Shelter Pet Day, now is a terrific time to think about adding that special furry member to the family and reaping some of those benefits. If you do decide to adopt, celebrate with others by using #AdoptAShelterPetDay in your social media posts.

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