Benefits of a Pet

Friday, March 11, 2011

Do you own a dog, a cat or some other type of household pet? If not, maybe you should consider adopting one. It could improve your health. Dr. Edward Hill tells us about the health benefits of a pet in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

You may not realize it, but caring for a pet can have positive health benefits for you. It has been known that relaxation techniques such as deep breathing and quiet meditation can slow your heart rate and lower your blood pressure. Stroking a pet or listening to a cat purring can have the same benefits. People who own pets have lower heart rates and blood pressure. They also experience less increase in these symptoms when under stress.

Studies show that people who own dogs are more likely to be living a year after a heart attack. Older adults who share their lives with a pet are less likely to experience depression and are more physically active. The residents of a nursing home are known to be more alert in the presence of animals.

Pets also encourage their owners to get exercise because they understand the need to be active outdoors. After considering the financial cost and living arrangements, you might want to get a pet to improve your health.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.