It isn’t a secret that most pet owners have a deep sense that their pets have superhero powers. They are not only our best friends, kids, and companions — they seem to make us feel better when we’re around them. What is the healing power of pets, and is it imagined or a real thing?
It turns out, there is some scientific research in this area. We did the digging (because we’re obsessed with our animals) and found some really interesting info.
Check out the healing power of pets below.
1. Pets Lower blood pressure, decrease risk of heart disease, and reduce anxiety.
According to Allen McConnell, PhD, a psychology professor at Miami University who specializes in human-pet interaction, “Owning a pet gives you a sense of purpose and belonging that can increase feelings of positivity and lower stress levels, all of which translates to health benefits.”
A 2008 study conducted over 20 years revealed that cat owners are 40 percent less likely to die of a heart attack and 30 percent less likely to die from cardiovascular disease, than those who don’t have cats. The Journal of Vascular and Interventional Neurology actually recommends men and women who are already in the high-risk category for cardiovascular disease to adopt a cat to better their health.
MCConnell’s findings are supported by the American Heart Association, which also points out that dog owners tend to get more exercise via regular walks.