Many people’s lives are impacted by animals. As well as seeing-eye dogs and dogs trained to detect seizures, animals can also be used for occupational therapy, speech therapy, or physical rehabilitation to help patients recover. In addition to their therapeutic roles, animals are valued as companions, which can certainly enhance our quality of life. Benefits of pets are often thought of as members of the family by most people. According to some studies, people with pets have healthier hearts, are less likely to be homesick, go to the doctor less often, get more exercise, and are less depressed. Allergies, asthma, social support, and social interactions with other people may also be affected by pets.
Impact on Physical and Mental Health
During stressful situations, companion animals may lower blood pressure and regulate heart rate. According to a study conducted in 2002, researchers measured changes in heart rate and blood pressure in people who owned a dog or cat, compared to those who did not (performing a timed math task).
At the beginning of the experiment, pet owners had lower resting heart rates and blood pressure measures than non-pet owners. There are many health benefits of pets. The heart rate and blood pressure of people with a dog or cat were also less likely to spike while performing the math task. They returned to normal within a short period of time.
The study was conducted with pet owners when their pets were present, as well as when they were not. The cardiac responses of pet owners were improved in either situation and especially when pets were present.
They also made fewer errors in math when their pet was nearby. These findings suggested that pets can lower heart disease risk as well as reduce stress, thereby improving performance.
The Challenges of Measuring the Positive Impact of Pets
Because human-animal interaction is difficult to study, it is not fully understood how it affects health. It is impossible to know if someone is in good health because they have a pet or if they are more likely to have a pet because they are in good health. People with poor health may not have the time or energy to care for a pet.
In the German study, it appears that having a pet for a longer period of time is more beneficial to your health; but it is also possible that people with pets have less time to go to the doctor or are less concerned about their own health, especially minor ailments. The word “pet” is also defined differently.
How do goldfish and golden retrievers compare in terms of health benefits? The Health benefits of birds, lizards, fish, or other pets cannot be concluded from most pet studies. Having about the healthcare health benefits depends on how much time the pet owner spends with it.
Researchers have also used animals to provide temporary companionship to children with health or mental problems, or to elderly individuals lacking the energy or resources for a live-in pet. In spite of varying results, interaction with therapy dogs may reduce levels of pain and anxiety among hospitalized children and adults.