How pets improve your health

Woman and old dog

Companion pets do more than make us smile; they are actually good for our health.

From reduced incidence of depression, lower blood pressure and overall stress reduction, a four-legged friend might be the best health plan money cannot buy.

Man and pit bullAt Pets for Patriots we advocate for the adoption of the most overlooked pets who face near-certain death if not adopted. Dogs and cats who are adult, special needs, or chronically homeless, and larger breed dogs.

Collectively these are animals that are most often overlooked in shelters, but that have many years of love and life to give. And because most are beyond the puppy or kitten stage and may already have some basic training, they are often easier to integrate into family life.

So how exactly do companion pets improve our health? Let us count the ways.

Physical benefits of pet ownership

Numerous studies have demonstrated that the average companion animal can deliver extraordinary physical health results. In some cases, having a pet can improve your health more than medication alone – or at all.

While studies by different organizations vary widely, all point to a plurality of households including pets as part of the family.

Many veterans who adopt through our program tell us that their motivation for getting a pet is to help get out of the house more and to be more physically active. After all, the dog is not going to walk himself.

But pets get us out in other ways.

They are natural social catalysts, helping us relate more easily to others. Maybe that is why dogs and cats are associated with improved mental health, too.

Pets brighten the day

We believe in the healing power of “ordinary” dogs and cats.

After all, pets are the masters of unconditional love. They accept us for who we are, not who we wish we were. They do not care what we look like. They do not see our failings or disabilities. They see our invisible wounds and look beyond them.

They simply love us, as is, and ask for nothing more in return. Woman and dog

Here are just some of the amazing ways they boost our spirits:

  • Reduced stress and incidence of depression; elderly people are less depressed if they have a pet
  • Fewer feelings of loneliness
  • Recent widows who have pets use less medication and have fewer symptoms of any type of illness than those that do not have a pet
  • Dog guardians report being as emotionally connected to their pet as to their closest family members
  • Just a half hour in the company of a dog improves feelings of happiness and well-being
  • Positive impact on children’s attitudes about themselves, boosting their ability to relate to others

Perhaps it is the veterans who adopt through our program that sum it up best: pets give us a purpose in life and another reason to live.


  1. Emily


    Your post is really great.

    I absolutely agree with you. Dogs not only are the best friend but also make the life happier.

    I live with three dogs. When I stress, I play with them. This makes me feel better and happier.

  2. Marina

    What a great article!
    I will save this article for one of my favorite, when I have more time, i’m going to read again and if it’s okay to you I will share this to my friend.

  3. Red

    Choice information you’ve discussed in this article. Readers will locate related facts at a site like visit site. This type of website can be useful for people looking for a dog-loving partner.

  4. Lara Habig

    Very unique blog I have not ever seen blog like this about depression recovery, This blog also realize us about pets important, I want to add here if anybody is in depression, they must checkout about their nutrients and proteins extra, in most of the cases vitamins D and omega 3 fat acid deficiency found. So avoid junk food and keep healthy diet and beat your depression.

  5. Maria

    Hi my name is Maria! I am researching the topic “how do pets improve your health?” for a project in health class. Your blog was very interesting and helped me with my project. I wondering if you could provide me with more information about this topic as I would love to learn more. Thanks!

  6. simon

    Research has shown that the long-term benefits of owning a dog, or cat, include a healthier heart. Over 20 years of study has shown that people who never owned a cat or dog are 40% more likely to die of a heart attack compared to the ones that had. Studies also show that 20 minutes of interaction with a dog can increase oxytocin levels by around 20%. Oxytocin is known as a cardio protective hormone which helps to protect the cardio vascular system from damage. In men who have previously experienced a heart attack, the chances of a second heart attack for those who own a dog is 400% lower than for those who do not own a dog; a statistic that has moved many cardiologists to write ‘get a dog’ into their prescriptions.REF:

  7. chart retrieval services

    This is a great blog especially for pet lovers. Pets can make a difference in one’s health. I did know they can bring a sense of happiness, such as brighten up your day but didn’t know all the physical benefits, thanks for sharing!


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