The Health Benefits of Pet Ownership. Care for a pet and a happy life, filled with joy and love. Pets provide unconditional love and companionship for anyone in the human-pet relationship. They also provide benefits that extend to your brain, heart, mind, and soul.
But you know what? Pets also offer a lot of joy and happiness to the human who’s responsible for them. From cats, to dogs, to bunnies, there are plenty of pets that could bring unconditional love and companionship into your life. They can offer a variety of health benefits too, like reducing the risk of heart disease or stroke, improving cognitive performance and reducing depression and anxiety levels.
Pets and your health
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Pets can help people improve cholesterol levels, blood pressure, reduce stress, and lower symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. Long-term stress has been linked to many chronic diseases, including obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and depression.
There is also evidence to support a positive correlation between pets and reduced symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia. One study conducted in 2002 demonstrated that having a dog around reduced agitation and behavioral issues in patients with Alzheimer’s disease.
With the rising costs of healthcare services and a lack of social support, it’s important to incorporate healthy habits that can benefit your family and well-being on a daily basis. Pets can offer some health benefits including reduction in cholesterol, blood pressure, stress, exercise levels, and chronic diseases. One study even found that pets could reduce symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.
Pets and aging
Pets have been shown to have great benefits for older people according to the geriatrician at Cedars-Sinai. “Loneliness has been linked to earlier death and poor health outcomes,” says Dr. Rosen.
“The companionship a pet provides is really valuable,” she says.”Pets also encourage their owners to be more active, and the longer we stay active as we age, the better,” says Dr. Rosen.”Those with gait or balance disorders should use caution before getting a pet.”She adds that dogs can be fall risks when you walk them, so consult your doctor first.”
Pets can provide older people with companionship and help keep them active. They are also useful for helping prevent loneliness and improving your health, according to a Cedars-Sinai geriatrician.
Dogs at Cedars-Sinai
For the past decade, Cedars-Sinai has been providing services like animal-assisted therapy and pet visits to help patients recovering from surgery or illness.
As part of this process, they address post-traumatic stress disorder and its impact on patients, visitors, and care staff. “We know that even a short visit from a POOCH dog in our program can help patients feel better,” says Camille Camello-Zendejas, volunteer coordinator for Barbara Cowen POOCH Program. “We’ve seen firsthand how much love and support these dogs provide.”
At Cedars-Sinai, the Barbara Cowen POOCH Volunteer Program brings the benefits of animals to patients in the hospital. Through volunteers who provide comfort and joy to patients and staff, animals are capable of bringing smiles on faces that otherwise might not be there.
We know that even a short visit from an animal can help patients feel better, which is why this program is so important.”We have seen the benefits firsthand and we hear it from patients almost daily,” says volunteer coordinator Camille Camello-Zendejas.