Our pets are more than just the best cuddlers and wet-nosed kissers—studies show they can actually improve our physical and mental health. Here’s how:
Your fur-sonal trainer
Pet ownership is good for the heart—in more ways than one!
The Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) studies how the interactions between humans and pets impact the health outcomes of both. Their research suggests that pet ownership keeps people active, and correlates to better overall heart health:
The researchers found that pets—especially dogs—can be very effective for reducing blood pressure and stress and may slow the progression of hypertension in older adults who live with pets.
A study of over 2,400 cat owners concluded there was a significantly lower relative risk for death due to cardiovascular diseases, including stroke and heart attack, compared to non-owners after 20 years.
Cat ownership is shown to speed up recovery after a heart attack.
Dog owners show a significantly lower risk for coronary artery disease.
Recent studies have demonstrated similar beneficial effects on cardiovascular stress responses among goat, fish and snake owners.
The power of snuggles
HABRI has extensively studied the role of pet ownership and human-animal interaction for improvements in mental health. They found that human-animal bonds can reduce overall anxiety and stress and could offer relief from symptoms of depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Their research shows that:
Human-animal interactions help protect against a variety of other negative feelings and emotions.
Pet ownership has been found to play a role in helping people manage long-term mental health conditions.
Pets can buffer people against high stress moments and reduce how stressful those moments feel.
Plus, caring for a pet can improve the way we think about ourselves, especially among people who identify as “good pet owners.”
Turns out the office dog has been hard at work all this time! Studies have found that employees are healthier and less stressed when pets are allowed in the workplace.
When surveyed, employees at pet-friendly offices reported:
Good mental health (98%)
Good physical health (97%)
Engagement in their work (91%)
Want to show extra love this month?
Let’s celebrate our pets for the love, affection and laughs they give us. Here are some fun ways to remind your pet how much joy they bring to your life:
Extra play time and tummy rubs.
Make a special meal for your pet to enjoy.
Do a photo shoot (see our Instagram @NationwidePet for filters to mix things up).
Explore all the smells at a new trail, park or pet store.
Spoil them with a special toy or treat (be sure to check out our member-exclusive discounts, too).
Don't forget to share a snuggle from your friends at Nationwide®!
Celebrate National Pet Month by sharing tips to keep pets as healthy as they keep you! Send one today at petinsurance.com/referral.
Visit habri.org for more information on these studies and other social and health impacts of human-animal bonds.
Your pet is one in a million
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