Most people consider pets as sources of joy and unconditional love. Did you know that having a furry buddy can also be a source of good health? So aside from having a well-balanced diet, healthy lifestyle and regular exercise, welcoming an animal into your home can also be good for your wellbeing.

Especially if you own a large dog, walking it around the block can give you your dose of cardiovascular exercise. Watching a really curious cat play with a ball of yarn can give you the chuckles you need. Teaching a parrot to speak some words can certainly get your mind preoccupied. The possibilities are endless — pick an adorable creature that suits your personality and your life will never be the same again. Also, according to experts, you can enjoy various health benefits offered by owning a pet, and they include:

Decreased Stress Levels

Researchers from the University at Buffalo found out that participants performing demanding tasks experienced less stress when they were with their pets rather than their family or friends. Even when the study is disregarded, it cannot be denied that something as simple as watching a gold fish swim around or stroking a purring feline can help take one’s mind away from anything that can cause stress.

Reduced Chronic Pain

Having a pet around is like popping a painkiller in the mouth, especially if you are suffering from chronic pain such as osteoarthritis, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia and neuropathy (nerve damage). Experts say that it’s due to the fact that spending time with a furry pal helps eases anxiety, which in turn helps decrease pain. A study from Loyola University even found out that people who were recovering from surgeries and underwent pet therapy needed less pain medication than those who did not.

Lifted Mood

There’s no denying that pets make some of the cutest deeds, and that’s why they can fill your life with laughter — something that is considered as the best medicine. The emotional benefits of having a pet are hard to overlook. In fact, dogs are being used to help soldiers deal with post-traumatic stress disorder. So the next time you feel that the whole world is against you, feel free to hug Rocky — you know that he will not judge you!

Lowered Cholesterol Levels

To date, experts are unsure why those who own pets — in particular men — have lower cholesterol levels. They cannot figure out exactly whether having a pet helps decrease cholesterol or those who have healthy lifestyles are just more likely to welcome pets into their lives. No matter the case, consider getting a furry companion to keep your cholesterol levels from skyrocketing.

Reduced Stroke and Heart Attack Risk

Stroke and heart attack can be kept at bay through all sorts of natural ways. One of the most rewarding of them all is having a dog. Experts add that a canine companion can significantly lower the odds of a person from dying within a year of suffering from a heart attack. However, there is no need to fret if you are a cat lover — studies have shown that having a feline pal can lower your risk of stroke by 40%, and your chances of having heart attack by 30%.

Increased Immunity

Did you grow up having pets around you? Then you may notice that, as an adult, you suffer from fewer allergies than someone who grew up not having a pet. This doesn’t really come as a shock — early exposure to pet dander can strengthen one’s immune system. Do take note that this amazing benefit pets bring will no longer take effect on an adult who wish to get rid of his or her allergies with the help of an endearing creature.

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