Adopting and owning a pet can be a double-edged sword. They can be high maintenance, expensive and a pain in the butt to clean up after, but what we humans get in return is well worth it. Numerous medical studies have cited that pets not only provide their owners with social interaction, companionship and exercise, but they can also help relieve stress and lower blood pressure.
Dogs and cats can vastly improve their human companions’ physical and mental health, but even horses, birds, turtles and fish can make a difference in their owners’ lives. Here’s how adopting a pet can improve your life:
I do not like dogs – there, I said it. However, my cold, dog-disliking heart has somewhat softened lately towards little dogs. Maybe it’s because I know a lot of people who own little dogs. Aside from my opinion on dogs, walking one daily can provide heart-healthy physical activity people may not otherwise get. And dog owners often have the chance to interact with other humans on a regular basis, as people walking their dogs typically appear friendly and approachable. One of my friends and her kids recently moved into a new house and adopted a Shih Tzu, from the Animal Hospital of Cambridge. The little dog, her daughter aptly named Nebby, has helped them get to know their neighbours when they take her out for walks.
Another enjoyable, albeit more expensive, animal that can provide its owner with regular exercise is a horse, of course. Horses are beautiful and gentle creatures and anyone who has gone horseback riding knows it is a great work out for your thighs and glutes. When I worked as a reporter, in a time when Breaking News arrived daily on your front stoop in the form of a newspaper, one of my favourite assignments was writing a feature article on the local horseback riding stables. Continue reading “How Our Furry Friends Improve Our Health”