The Therapeutic and Health Benefits of Owning a Pet
In 2011, an American 3 part study found that pets provided meaningful social support to their owners. With the mean ages in each study being 31 years, 42 years and 19 years – their results were not just related to elderly people, but to people of all ages. The researchers found that pet owners experienced greater self-esteem, had healthier personalities, were less fearful, depressed or lonely and were happier than people without pets.
It is clear that dogs are seen as catalysts for social interaction, and positive social interactions enhance feelings of well-being in people. Taking this one step further, the psychological benefits of pet ownership is being investigated for cases of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
There is sparse but growing research into the help pet ownership can give to suffers of PTSD.
A 2007 German and Australian study found that people who continuously own a pet are healthier than those who have never owned or cease to own a pet.
In fact, pet owners made 15% fewer visits to the doctor, over a 12 month period, than individuals who did not own a pet.
Research has also shown that pet owners have lower blood pressure and other cardiovascular risk factors than people who do not own pets, have less minor illnesses, reduced stress and a greater survival rate after a heart attack. After controlling for other factors, a 2011 study found that in heart attack survivors, the only independent indicator of mortality was not owning a pet.
There are lots of other studies that provide evidence of the health benefits of pet ownership. All of which lends support for the increasing need for pet friendly retirement villages or over 50’s retirement living facilities.
In today’s changing health environment, it is good to know that pets can ease much of our daily living stresses and provide added health benefits as we age.
This article is provided by Palm Lake Resort – palmlakeresort.com.au