The Healing Power of Pets
Help Your Heart
Pets don’t just steal your heart—they can actually strengthen it. Owning a dog, for example, makes a daily walk non-negotiable, and petting an animal can lower heart rate, blood pressure and cortisol levels, says Sandra Barker, Ph.D., director of the Center for Human-Animal Interaction at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA.
A study funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) found that people who suffered a heart attack were much more likely to be alive a year later if they were dog owners.
Studies have also shown that simply watching fish swim in an aquarium can lower blood pressure. And if you have diabetes, note that certain dog breeds, such as Labrador retrievers, can be trained to detect subtle changes in your breath or body odor that occur when blood sugar dips. In some cases, these dogs can sense a coming drop in blood sugar sooner than a glucose meter.
He loves me :-
- Adoringly and unconditionally.
- When he sits on my lap and looks up at me with those chocolate eyes, my heart melts.
He keeps me company :-
- Because of my illness, I am mainly housebound.
- I don’t have a lot of visitors, and I often need to stay home while my family goes out to enjoy different activities.
- Wesley keeps me busy and eases my loneliness during those times I am by myself.
He makes me laugh every day :-
- Sometimes it’s a giggle, like when he flips his ear back because he thinks it makes him look charming.
- Sometimes it’s a belly laugh, like when he was chasing a ball and somersaulted head over heels, landing on his back.
- But he never fails to make me laugh.
He gets me outside :-
- Before Wesley joined our family, I was content to spend all day inside, working on my computer or watching TV.
- Now, I have to take him outside regularly to go to the bathroom or play.
- Dr. Mercolalists several health benefits of sunshine, including increasing the production of Vitamin D, enhancing moods and energy by increasing endorphins, improving immunity, protecting against multiple sclerosis (MS) symptoms, relieving fibromyalgia pain, regulating body temperature and treating Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Getting outside each day lets me take advantage of these benefits.
He makes me exercise :-
- Overdoing it is not a good thing, but neither is underdoing it.
- An article published in The Wall Street Journal reported that regular exercise boosts the body’s immune system.
- It can also help chronic illness because it combats the ongoing damage to cells, tissues and organs that underlies many chronic issues.
- Taking Wesley for a short walk and even just playing with him helps me to be more active so I can enjoy the benefits of exercise