Live Longer with Pets
Shared by Dr. Bryan Stephens
Pets: Furry Friends that can help us live longer
I’ve had the privilege of owning a multitude of pets. Dogs, cats, gerbils, fish, hermit crabs, and even a snake have graced my path through the years. There are many great things I have learned from them and most I didn’t even realize until after they were gone. I currently find myself reflecting once again on the ways these animals have helped my life as one of my dogs has struggled with her health this past month while one of my cats is about to give birth.
It is impossible to talk about the benefit of pets without first discussing the effect they have on our mental wellbeing and our ability to lower stress. There is a reason that therapy animals exist. Multiple studies exist to show that playing with animals, usually dogs, can help with both the psychological as well as the physiological stress. This means that it affects the perceived stress as well as vital signs and cortisol levels. A study was published looking at 1 year survival of cardiovascular disease patients following hospitalization. Those that owned pets had a much greater survival rate than those without. They even accounted for non-dog pet owners and compared them to non-pet owners and still noticed significant differences. They made this comparison based on the thought that dog owners had a greater physical benefit from walking their dogs and thus getting more exercise themselves. We should all know that exercise helps the heart, so anything that gets us walking and moving will add to our physical wellbeing.
If you are a pet person, you already understand the bond that forms with your furry friends. It helps not only calm the mind but ease the spirit. That’s not to say they aren’t without the additional stresses occasionally, but I have found that the benefits far outweigh the burdens. Make sure you give your pets a much needed hug and thank them for what they unknowingly add to your life.
Delgado, Cheryl PhD, RN; Toukonen, Margaret PhD, RN, AAS; Wheeler, Corinne PhD, RN, CENP Effect of Canine Play Interventions as a Stress Reduction Strategy in College Students, Nurse Educator: 5/6 2018 – Volume 43 – Issue 3 – p 149-153
I Robinson. The Waltham Book of Human-Animal Interaction: Benefits and Responsibilities of Pet Ownership. Elsevier. 2013. P 33-36
Our Chiropractors in Dallas, located near the corner of Mockingbird Ln. and Abrams Rd., are here to help educate our patients on how to live a healthier lifestyle by teaching our patients the link between how you eat and how your choices can effect your health. We are committed to getting rid of back pain, neck pain and headaches with chiropractic adjustments and exercise.