As an animal person you are naturally crazy about your animals, but did you know that having animals also brings several health benefits? We give you seven reasons why having a pet or animal is healthy!
People with animals generally spend a lot of time outdoors: walking the dog or messing around in and around the stable. Being outside gives you a lot. For example, a Danish study has shown that being in a green environment is right for your health and quality of life.
Still, other studies have shown that a walk in the forest gives an increased activity of white blood cells and a decrease in the stress hormone cortisol. This combination ensures that a solid forest walk is good for the resistance.
Science is interested in the way in which people build a bond with their animals. The fantastic thing about this is that it is mostly related to the same substances as building a bond with a child.
The hormone oxytocin plays a dominant role in this. This hormone makes people and animals when you pet your pet and when you look each other in the eye in a friendly way. Oxytocin is also called the ‘hug hormone’ and causes feelings of affection and reduction of stress feelings.
Not only dog people, but anyone with a horse or (smaller) farm animals can confirm this: you move a lot for your animals. The dogs and horses must get their exercise, but you are not there yet. The stables have to be fattened, water troughs in the meadow cleaned and filled, the hay bales to the hay loft … That way you burn a lot of calories with an afternoon in the stable!
The human body is made to sit little (behind a computer) and to walk, lift and lug around a lot. All those chores are so healthy!
Working with an animal that weighs around 600 kilos can give your self-confidence a huge boost. Yet I have noticed that working with smaller animals also gives a feeling of reward and can strengthen your self-esteem. It gives a sense of satisfaction if you and your dog can live together harmoniously or if a certain exercise is performed well and with pleasure after a while. You may also know the ‘yes’ feeling when that pathetic asylum that you have taken in your home finally trusts you enough that she will be on your lap.
We have already encountered some health benefits in this article, but there have also been some interesting studies into the relationship between having a pet and heart and blood vessel health.
One of those studies looked at the recovery after a heart attack in 421 people. This research showed that dog owners are more likely to be alive one year after the heart attack.
In another study, 240 married couples had to take a series of stressful tests. Those with a pet were found to have a considerably lower heart rate and blood pressure than those without a pet.
There also appears to be a beneficial effect on the levels of cholesterol and triglycerides in the bloodstream. This is again related to healthy blood vessels.
Children who grow up in a very clean environment are more likely to suffer from allergies and asthma. Children growing up with pets are less likely to develop allergies.
In addition, children can feel empathy and sense of responsibility through their pets. With good guidance, they can become the best buddies. No one to whom we can tell you all your secrets as well as to your loyal friend. Growing up with animals can therefore be very valuable.
For the elderly and for people who have difficulty entering into social contacts, a pet can be a big advantage. With a dog you of course have to go out so that you meet people. And if animal people have something in common, it is that they share the same passion: animals. And they like to talk about it a lot. There are also various forums and pages online where you can chat with other animal people about animals and also meet them in real life.
This information is intended for educational purposes only and does not replace the advice of a veterinarian.
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