You know they're cute and cuddly, they give you tons of unconditional love and they're great friends. But what you might not know is that they improve your health in a lot of ways. Here are a few of them, from Web MD .com:
- Pets are allergy fighters! People used to think that pets should be avoided in allergy-prone families. But in fact, a number of studies have shown that kids who grow up with pets are less likely to develop allergies and asthma. It suggests that these kids have a stronger immune system.
- They're good for your heart. Heart attack patients who have pets live longer than those without pets. And pet owners have fewer signs of heart disease and lower cholesterol levels than non-pet owners.
- Pets are also good for the elderly, especially those prone to anxiety. Studies have shown that Alzheimer's patients have fewer anxious outbursts if there's an animal in the home.
- Pets are also good for your mind and your soul. Pet owners with chronic illnesses are much less likely to suffer from depression. And studies show you can lower your blood pressure by adopting a cat or a dog. Also - playing with a pet raises the levels of serotonin and dopamine, which has pleasurable and calming properties.
- And here's one more health benefit of having a pet: They can help you get a date! Dogs are natural conversation starters, so if you're shy, they can help you break the ice with a stranger. Where you take it from there is up to you.