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Are Pets Good for Your Health?

By Randi Morse

The bond between a pet and their human can be difficult to describe. On one hand your pet may feel like your child, but on the other hand they are your closest companion. Pets are a great way to teach children responsibility; they can also bring a lot of joy to the elderly and infirm. There are those who think that owning a pet is more hassle than it's worth. The truth is that having a pet is extremely beneficial for your health. 

De-Stressing 

One huge benefit our furry friends bring us is to reduce the amount of stress in our lives. For example, a study done at State University of New York at Buffalo in 2002 had volunteers complete a stressful task. They then had them do the same task with a close friend or family member near them, as well as having them do the task with their pet with them. The results of the study proved that the volunteers experienced less stress with the pets than they did with the humans. There is so much proof that pets relieve stress, some addiction centers are encouraging their clientele to bring their pet into the rehabilitation facility. 

Good for Your Heart 

Some people are dog lovers, some are cat lovers. A study that was published in the Journal of Vascular and Interventional Neurology showed that people who had owned a cat during their lives had less of a risk of dying during a heart attack than people who had never owned a cat. This may seem counterintuitive if you have ever owned a mischievous or dramatic cat, but the 20-year study doesn't lie. 

Great Exercise 

Owning a pet also helps you get more exercise. Dogs require regular walking and regular exercise to keep them happy and healthy. That means dog owners have a valid reason for getting off the couch and getting their body moving, which is always a good thing. 

Protective 

Both dogs, and cats can be protective. Not only can a dog protect you from an intruder, they may also potentially protect you from health problems. The American Diabetes Association found during a 1992 study that at least 1/3 of diabetics who had pets would notice a change in the pet's behavior when the owner's blood sugar was low. Dogs can also be trained to recognize, and get help for, other medical conditions as well. 

There is a pet out there for every person, be it a dog, cat, hamster, fish or bird; you can find a pet that will fit your lifestyle and that will help keep you healthier as well! 

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

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