Pet owners know that there is nothing like the laughter and love they enrich our lives with. As it turns out, their companionship isn’t the only thing our furry friends provide us. Numerous studies are now finding that our pets can provide many physical benefits that impact our health and well-being. According to an article written by Dana Casciotti of the National Center for Health Research, when experiencing a stressful situation our pets may lower our blood pressure and regulate our heart rate. In a 2002 study discussed in the article, it was found that those who had pets enjoyed lower blood pressure when compared to those who did not have a pet. Also, it was found that those pet owners felt less anxiety and performed better on a test. These results are not only evident in adults. In another study discussed within the same article, when a dog was present at the doctor’s office before an appointment, children were found to have lower blood pressure, decreased heart rates, and overall less stress compared to those children without a dog present at the appointment. There are several possible explanations for these results. Pets create a sense of belonging with humans. Although they may not be able to interact the same as humans, their companionship yields similar benefits impacting our health. Research has discovered that pets may also help us be more active, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, pets increase your opportunities for exercise and getting outdoors, and we are all aware of the benefits of physical activity on our overall health. All of these health benefits only add to the reasons we love our furry friends!

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