Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Pet ownership - good for your health!

Science is proving that a furry friend is good for you

While 12 million Australian pet owners will agree that their furry friend is an important part of their life, science is proving that is also good for your health.

According to latest research pet owners have lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure and lower stress levels than those who don't have pets.  One famous study in the U.S. by the State University of New York, conducted an experiment on stressed out stock brokers all suffering from hypertension. One group was given dogs and a second group was treated with medication. The results revealed that after 6 months the group that was given the pooches were doing significantly better than those on medication who were still suffering with high blood pressure.

Scientists are still trying to discover the exact reason for the associated health benefits but latest studies indicate that when people are in the company of those they love either human or non human the brain releases oxytocin which suppresses the production of stress hormones. Pet ownership also encouraged increased physical activity and appears to have a psychological benefit also.

Quick Facts:

• Just 15 to 30 minutes with a pet can lower cortisol and increase serotonin levels.

• In a study of 240 couples, pet owners had lower blood pressure and heart rates.

• A US study found that non cat owners were 40% more likely to die of a heart attack

• Pets provide a multitude of benefits in rehabilitation programs including less need for pain medication, improved immune systems, lower blood pressure and better respiratory patterns

Thinking about a new pet, why not consider adopting a pet through the RSPCA or Pet Rescue.