General Article

Pet Your Way To a Longer Life

Everyone wants to live a long, healthy, vital life. You know the basics: eat fresh healthy foods, exercise regularly, avoid tobacco use and move to one of the “blue zones.” Okay, that last one may be a bit drastic; try owning a pet instead. It doesn’t have to be a dog or cat; studies have shown health advantages to loving and caring for just about any animal.

Drawbacks

If you don’t own a pet already you can probably cite a dozen reasons why, but don’t let the drawbacks stand in your way. Some owners cite financial burdens as an issue, so take measures to avoid this downfall. Horse medical insurance can make even the most expensive animal more affordable. Reduce routine pet expenses with subscriptions for food and medication; having items delivered also alleviates some of the hassles of pet ownership. Pet owners used to find it difficult to travel but a boom in pet sitting services has made it easier to find qualified care. In other words, there are practically no good reasons not to get a pet.

What Pet Owners Say

On the other hand, there are innumerable great reasons to get a pet. Pet owners are often more physically active and spend more time outdoors each day than those without pets. They report reduced levels of stress and an increased sense of purpose. Most say their animal companions provide emotional support while dealing with difficult issues so they enjoy life more. In short, people with pets feel loved.

What Studies Say

Pet owners can say what they want; objective measures are more compelling. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cite several advantages to having a pet. Studies have shown significant measurable benefits such as lower blood pressure, reduced cholesterol, and decreased triglycerides. All translate to improved heart health and increased life spans. Pet owners tend to sleep better which bolsters immune systems. They also experience fewer incidents of depression, and feeling less lonely means reduced likelihood of falling prey to Type 2 diabetes and dementia.