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We Love Our Pets!: Pets are Beneficial to Your Health

By Karin Kilmartin-Weston

Research has shown that the social interaction between owners and their pets is very beneficial to their health. Simply petting an animal can lower your stress level by reducing the stress hormone cortisol and increasing your levels of the “feel-good” hormone oxytocin. The cortisol-lowering and oxytocin-boosting benefits of petting animals can also help keep your blood pressure at healthy levels. Studies have shown that a pet can often sense when their owners are not well, and they provide a sense of comfort when needed. Throughout history, the use of animals as human companions has been shown to be beneficial to humans, especially those with chronic health conditions. Dogs have been utilized for surveillance purposes for individuals that have seizure disorders. Having pets requires their owners to take an active part in their care. In secret, our pets are helping us get off the couch and participate in cardiovascular exercise through the guise of that daily walk. Pets not only offer companionship, but they also help provide an overall sense of well-being with the occasional comedic effect!

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