Or in my case -borrowship. But here is a list of the TOP 10 HEALTH BENEFITS of having a pet according to Dr. Dave Hepburn who owns a Havanese pup named Leo.
1 Several studies have shown that having a pet helps you get in shape. One study showed that new dog owners lose an average of 14 pounds in the first year.
2 Pets help people survive heart attacks. Pet owners have healthier hearts. Those who own a dog are eight times more likely to survive one year after a heart attack.
3 Pets are great for mental health. Patients who have pets are less depressed or anxious and show lower scores on the depression severity scale. So, if you’re feeling blue take two Shih Tzu and call me in the morning.
4 A study out of the University of Missouri showed that within minutes of petting a dog, there is a massive release of beneficial hormones ( in the petter) known to be associated with health and feelings of well being.
5 Dogs are beneficial in speech and language development. (My Spanish is already getting better). Dogs are instantly loyal and eager to please — perfect companions during sometimes difficult speech- therapy sessions.
6 Pets help blunt pain. By initiating and maintaining the relaxation response, a pet can distract a patient’s focus from his or her pain and elevate his or her mood.
7 Pet owners often feel needed and responsible, which may stimulate the survival incentive. There is the feeling of the need to pull through a surgery or major illness to take care of their pets. Many cancer patients with pets admit to striving hard to live longer because they felt that their pets need them and only them.
8 Pets in the home teach empathy and responsibility and even raise IQs. In fact, dogs can improve children’s reading scores. Trained teams of dogs and humans help children who have trouble reading to jump grade levels in just a few months in a program where children read to dogs.
9 Seniors who have pets have far fewer doctor visits and sleep better.
10 To many researchers, the most exciting facet of these studies is that positive human- animal interaction may delay production of harmful body chemicals associated with diseases such as cancer. Studies indicate an improvement in body chemicals associated with a healthy immune system. We may see a time when people at risk for certain illnesses including cancer may be prescribed a Chihuahua.
Dr. Dave Hepburn, Postmedia News. Watch Dr. Dave on “Buyologic” on OWN, Tuesdays at 6: 30 p. m.
Also **Don’t miss listening to “Transforming Health” with host Brad King for the most evocative and informative up-to-the-minute interviews with leading health professionals – Live every Wednesday @ 12PM-PST/3PM-EST on VoiceAmerica.com – #1 internet radio station in North America.
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