5 Ways Pets Can Improve Our HealthJuly 16, 2019
Sure, we know that there are all sorts of things Kaiser Permanente does to support human parenting, but at Pet Camp we’re especially proud that Kaiser is now supporting pet parenting too!
Pet Camp uses Kaiser Permanente for our human health care. In the last “Thrive” e-newsletter Kaiser discussed the 5 ways pets can improve your health. Now frankly, for most pet parents this is not new news and we know there are way more than 5 ways pets can improve our lives. That being said, here are the 5 ways Kaiser says pets help us thrive.
- Lower Blood Pressure and Cholesterol
Turns out that pet parents who own dogs tend to have lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels than the average human. The thought is that these pet parents get more physical activity (we do have to walk those dogs) which lowers blood pressure and cholesterol. I can tell you that having to walk the dog is also a great excuse to escape the chaos of your house, or at least my house, which also lowers blood pressure.
- Decrease in Loneliness
Pets help people feel less isolated and depressed. Not only is the individual bond between a pet and a person an important form of emotional support, getting out to walk your dog also provides you with more opportunity to socialize with neighbors, creating more social bonds.
- Buffer For Stress
No surprise, but cuddling with your pet makes you feel better after a crappy day. The interaction between people and pets increases oxytocin levels in the brain. Oxytocin, sometimes called the “cuddle hormone,” has a physical effect on your body. It helps slow your heart rate and breathing while also preventing stress hormones, creating a sense of calm and comfort.
- Prevent Weight Gain
While probably not enough to offset the 8 slices of pizza I had last night, all the things I need to do to keep my dogs active also
helps me lower my risk of obesity. I have no idea how many miles I need to walk the dogs to offset the pizza (thank goodness I have 3 to walk) or tennis balls I need to throw when playing fetch, but I guess every little bit helps.
- Keep Allergies at Bay
Kaiser argues that when kids are exposed to cats and dogs at a young age, they have a smaller chance of developing allergies. Research also shows that children who grow up with dogs have lower rates of asthma. The theory is that this exposure helps build immunity.
If you’ve been looking for an excuse to get a dog or a cat, now you can claim that you need to for medical reasons! Do as the doctor orders and get a pet! Getting a pet is much better advice than the usual “take 2 aspirins and call me in the morning.”