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How Your Pet is Great for Your Health

By Sara Butler

Everyone has heard the story of the dog that saved their owner from a bear attack or a cat that alerted their sleeping owners to a fire. Even if your dog Rover isn't much for heroics and doesn't do more than simply keep your feet warm on those cool nights, he's still good for your health. Here are just a few of the ways your pet can benefit your health and wellness -- you know, in case you want to throw them an extra treat tonight.

They're Good for Your Heart

The American Heart Association says that pets can help to lower blood pressure, improving heart health in the process. Studies have found that pet owners consistently have lower blood pressure levels than people who don't own pets, but the benefits don't stop there. Pets can also help lower bad cholesterol levels and triglycerides, all by being cute and cuddly.

They're Good for Your Feelings

Pet owners are less likely to be stressed and depressed. Well, except for that time Rover ate your favorite pair of shoes. Bad dog moments aside, researchers have found that the love animals provide to their humans helps ease the emotional pain of mental health issues like post-traumatic stress disorder and depression. That's because bonding with a pet releases oxytocin levels in your body, a hormone that can help negate the effects of stress and anxiety on your body.

They Help You Get Fit

Dogs can be taskmasters. They love to go on walks, throw the ball around, and go exploring. That means rain or shine or sleet or snow, you have to take your BFF out to do their business and get exercise, which means you get exercise too. Researchers have found that dog owners are more likely to get the recommended 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week than people who don't own dogs. Plus, taking your pal along for a workout is always more fun.

They Might Help You Keep Cancer Away

Owning a pet may protect you from certain types of cancer. At least, that's what a few researchers at California universities suspect. That's because pet ownership can have a positive impact on your immune system function, which can help keep some types of cancer from taking hold.

Hold Rover a little closer tonight since he's helping you live your best life! If you don't have a pet, consider getting one -- for your health! 

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Mesa, Ariz.

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