Animals can make you happy. But did you know that critters can help you live longer, too? Here are some of the amazing health benefits of animals. We found this intelligence in Woman’s World magazine:

  • First, cats strengthen your bones. Studies show that the sound of a cat’s purr keeps their bones strong – and strengthens the bones of their companions! It turns out, a cat’s purr is the same frequency used by European sound therapists to heal osteoporosis. And those wavelengths actually help broken bones heal 4 times faster!
  • Another health-boosting animal: Birds make you more social. Studies found that just being around birds increases sociability and boosts self-esteem. Why? Because even birds at a bird feeder are active, vocal, and entertaining. In fact, bird owners who live alone have a lower rate of depression than other singles.
  • Then, fish relieve stress. A study of people scheduled for dental surgery found that watching fish swim in a tank reduced anxiety just as much as hypnosis does. In fact, watching fish swim – even on videotape - can lower your blood pressure 15 points – about the same as meditating. Why? Because they float serenely and slowly around, making the viewer more relaxed and slowed down.
  • Another surprising health-booster: horses increase confidence and optimism. Because they’re gentle, trusting and accepting of everyone. Today, there are more than 800 horse-assisted therapy centers around North America that help people with eating disorders and addictions, and at-risk kids. And one study found an 80 percent rehab rate for juvenile offenders who completed a mandatory horse-therapy program.
  • Finally, dogs are calming. Studies show that people waiting for surgery are 37 percent less anxious and frightened after spending 15 minutes with a dog. And just petting a dog lowers blood pressure, slows heart rates and increases feel-good happiness hormones.

So, let’s hear it for our furry, feathered, and floating friends!