Saturday, August 31, 2013

Why Owning a Pet Is Good for You

Photo of furry voyeur

I walked into my bathroom one morning and was surprised to find a voyeur peering through the window. I grabbed my cell phone and took a photo of the furry culprit. Of course, the peeping-tomcat was more than welcome to stay, and I did my best not to scare it away.

Stray cats often wander into our garden—which is quite a treat for my family. (We don’t touch them, because we have no idea where they’ve been. We just snap their photos.)

We love animals! We have two dogs and three aquariums in our house, and I encourage everyone to experience the pleasure of having pets. Besides the simple joy of relaxing in a home brimming with life, pets offer their owners a lot of mental and physical health benefits.

Less Allergies - The old belief was that kids growing up in homes with furry pets would be more likely to get allergies and that if their parents were allergy-prone, all the more they should avoid pets. But a growing number of studies is starting to prove otherwise. Research shows that kids growing up with furry friends have less risk of developing allergies, asthma and eczema. Of course, it’s a different case when it comes to adults already suffering with these conditions. The assumption is that the children growing up with these animals in their environment end up with more robust immune systems, primarily because they are allowed to grow up exposed to them.

Lessens Anxiety
– Pet owners are less likely to suffer from depression.  Playing with a pet elevates levels of serotonin and dopamine, neurotransmitters which help calm and relax. Even hardened criminals demonstrate a change in behavior after they experience the warm companionship of a pet. The animal need not be furry either. Even just watching fish in an aquarium can help soothe the nerves, reduce muscle tension and lower the pulse rate.

Decreases the Risk of Heart Attack - People with high blood pressure who adopt pets end up with lower blood pressure during stressful situations.  Studies have shown that heart attack patients with a dog or a cat have better recovery rates and ultimately survive longer than those without a pet. This is most likely due to the benefit stated above of it being able to lessen overall stress levels.

Our territorial Shih Tzu
They’re All-around Lifesavers – I grew up with dogs. And my spirit is alight with fond memories of what my pets have done with me and for me to show their devotion. The most moving of which is when my two dogs, who usually come into my study just to peer out my window, came in one morning and started nudging my legs from underneath my desk. I thought they were just rough-housing, so I ignored them. But they kept on bumping against me–something they never do–and I realized they were urging me to get up. Since my mother was the only other person in the house at the time, I went to check on her. And true enough, as soon as I walked in her room, I could tell from her wheezing that she was having a hard time breathing. I called her doctor and an ambulance and, to make a long story short, got her to the hospital in time to save her life—thanks to our two dogs!

Our friendly Labrador Retriever

1 comment:

  1. Hey, I didn’t find an email address… Can you email possibly me so I can ask you a question about your dog?