If you’ve ever owned a pet, you already know how much fun and affection they can bring.

But did you know that pets also come with physical health benefits?

Studies have found that:

  • Dog owners are less likely to suffer from depression.
  • People with dogs have lower blood pressure in stressful situations than those without pets.
  • Playing with a dog or cat has a relaxing and calming effect that increase levels of serotonin and dopamine.
  • Pet owners have lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels (indicators of heart disease) than those without pets.
  • Heart attack patients with dogs survive longer than those without a pet.

Dog ownership also encourages healthy lifestyle changes by:

  • Increasing exercise.  Studies have shown that dog owners are far more likely to meet their daily exercise requirements.
  • Providing companionship. Companionship can help prevent illness and even add years to your life and decrease depression.
  • Reducing anxiety. The companionship of a dog can help build self-confidence for people struggling with anxiety.
  • Adding structure and routine to your day. Dogs require a regular feeding and exercise schedule.