Dogs and Pets Provide Health Benefits

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By Robert Benson

Do dogs provide health benefits? Believe it or not, they do! Did you know that owning a dog and pet ownership in general, can help a person in many ways? Owning a pet can improve your mental wellness, reduce your visits to the doctor, improve your cardiovascular health and allow for faster recovery time from surgery as well as higher survival rates. Recent research suggests that dogs may be able to detect cancer on a person's breath! Lets' explore these amazing health benefits of pet ownership:

It has been proven that dog owners have lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels than non-dog owners. These factors, in turn, reduce the chance of cardiovascular diseases. In fact, just stroking a pet has long been known to reduce blood pressure. Furthermore, a study from the New York State University concluded that these benefits continue even without the pet being present!

Hospital studies have shown that senior citizens and recent post-op patients respond better to treatment and recover faster while in contact with dogs and other therapy animals. Did you know that dog owners have a greater chance to survive a serious illness than non-dog owners? In fact, a study revealed that a pet affected a person's survival rate even more than the presence or company of family members or friends!

Studies conducted at Cambridge and UCLA concluded that there is a direct correlation between pet ownership and improved overall health, which leads to fewer visits to the doctor. The Journal of American Geriatrics Society notes that pet ownership has a positive effect on a senior's physical and emotional well being. Additionally, a Medicare study of elderly patients also shows that people who own a dog have fewer doctor visits than patients who do not.