Several scientific reports already suggest that pets truly give so much benefit to humans. In this research study, a professor listed 10 health benefits that animal companions give their owners.

“I have a list of 10 health benefits [that] studies have shown pet owners have,” said psychologist Harold Herzog, a Western Carolina University professor who has studied the human-animal connection.

“Higher survival rates, fewer heart attacks, less loneliness, better blood pressure, better psychological well-being, lower rates of depression and stress levels, fewer doctor visits, increased self esteem, better sleep and more physical activity,” are some of the benefits of owning a pet, Herzog said.

Megan Mueller, co-director of the Tufts Institute for Human-Animal Interaction, discusses whether pets are actually good for us.

1. Anxiety and mood

Pets provide emotional support, Mueller said.

“There some research that shows having a pet with you during an anxious event could help reduce the stress of that event,” she said, noting that studies show that humans’ mood increases around pets.

2. Therapy and emotional support

Children with ADHD were asked to read to real animals showed improvements in sharing, cooperation, volunteering and behavioral problems than those who read to a stuffed animal, according to a 2015 study.

Parents of children with therapy dogs showed a significant drop in anxiety and improved their ability to cope.

3. Cardiovascular health

About 4 million people that have been analyzed in the United States, Canada, Scandinavia, New Zealand, Australia and the United Kingdom found that dog ownership was associated with a 24% reduction in dying.

A 2019 study on Dog Ownership and Survival After a Major Cardiovascular Event also found that people who owned dogs had better health. Heart attack survivors who owned dogs had a 33% lower risk of death compared to those who did not own a dog.

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