Do Pets Improve your Health?


ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — Dog owners take 2,760 more steps per day on average compared to non-owners, which amounts to an additional 23 minutes of moderate exercise. And there are more reasons why having a pet is beneficial for your mind and your body.

Researchers say having a pet can reduce stress in both children and adults. It can also decrease the risk of asthma in children and lower blood pressure.

Mary Jo Gilmer, PhD, from Vanderbilt University School of Nursing said “There is research of animals with, dogs particularly, with the elderly, with adults with cancer. We have some data about how helpful it is with adults.”

And while man’s best friend is the most popular therapy animal, dogs aren’t the only pets making their owners happier and healthier. In a study published in the journal gerontology, a group of elderly people were given five crickets in a cage. After eight weeks, they became less depressed than their peers without crickets. And when people at an Alzheimer’s-disease facility dined in front of aquariums with brightly colored fish, they ate more, got better nutrition, were more attentive and less lethargic.

Research also shows when children who struggle with reading read aloud to a trained dog, the dogs showed signs of anxiety because they can detect what humans feel.

Contributors to this news report include: Hayley Hudson, Katie Coronado, Producers; Jesse Draus, Videographer and Editor.

To receive a free weekly e-mail on Medical Breakthroughs from Ivanhoe, sign up at: