Can Pets Improve Your Health?

  • Post Written by John Kairupan on November 14, 2009

photo courtesy of shashshatter
The following is a guest post written by John Kairupan. John is a success coach who helps others discover their passion and achieve their goals.

It is true that pets can improve your health, you wellbeing, and ultimately lead you to a life of more success and happiness. Not only are there studies proving it, but I have seen it first hand with people that I know, including myself.

I used to have two pets that I cared about dearly. They made me feel good having them around, but it was more than that… I believe that they actually improved my health and well being.

Let me share some interesting ways how your pet can really improve your health, and which holds true as I reflect on my own experience with my pets.

Make your pet an exercise buddy

Take at least two 15-20 minute outdoor, daily walks with your pet; one in the morning and one in the evening. This will keep you moving and ensure that you meet the minimum recommendations for healthy physical activity.

Walking with your pet helps you to get stronger bones and it is your best defence against osteoporosis and painful fractures. It’s a weight-bearing exercise that strengthens your bones and the muscles around them. It also lets you spend time in the sun, which provides you and your pet with some essential vitamin D.

Most people you see outdoors are walking with their dogs but it is important to note that there are many types of pets you can walk with. I have seen people walking outside with their cats, iguanas, parrots and even snakes.

If you own a cat or a dog, another fun activity is to shine a flashlight on the wall or wave a string while you do an aerobics routine. You’re pet will get a healthy workout chasing the light, and you’ll be thoroughly entertained as you get your exercise.

As a part of your daily health routine it is important to stretch. Take a cue from your cat and watch how many times she stretches during day. When she stretches, stretch with her.

Encourage your children to play with your pet

Playing and interacting with a pet is an excellent way to release excess energy. That means an easier time falling asleep at bed time. Also, because the bond between a pet and a child is unconditional love, pets help children learn about caring.

Allow them to take charge of the tasks with a pet care schedule – it will help your child learn to plan and be responsible.

Become more social with your pet and others

Pet owners are naturally more sociable. Simply put, pet owners have a tendency to want to talk with other pet owners. A dog is a conversation waiting to happen. People, especially other people with pets, will stop and talk with you when they see you with your pet.

You can socialize personally with your pet by talking to them. Therapists have been known to prescribe a pet as a way of dealing with and recovering from depression. No one loves you more unconditionally than your pet and a pet will listen to you talk for as long as you want to.

Teach your pet to help out with your duties

Pets such as dogs can perform tasks that let people maintain their independence. They can pick up dropped items or fetch requested ones. They can provide balance support, open and close doors, and turn lights on with their paws.

Hold, touch and cuddle your pet

Probably one of the best ways to maintain you health and wellness with your pet is through the power of touch. It is a proven fact that all animals love to be touched. Pets give you those feelings of peace, comfort and love.

People can even get relief just by placing their hurting limbs against their dog’s or cat’s body, or lying up next to them. Some dogs have even been trained to wrap around the neck of a person with chronic neck pain.

Perhaps the best help comes from those dogs, cats or other pets that seem to be super sensitive to people who aren’t feeling well. Sometimes just their presence can provide a relieving comfort.

Your favourite pet can indeed make you feel good and become healthy. I hope that you enjoy this article and would like to hear how your pet has contributed to your health and success.

5 Comments on “Can Pets Improve Your Health?”

  • aman said:

    I love the article, it reminds me of my dog Max… He would always relieve my stress.

  • Bitts said:

    Dogs are the best personal trainers/therapists. They make you get up and move, allowing you to shake off any residual energy.

  • Autism Information said:

    Once again an excellent written post from you. Keep it up!

  • John K. (author) said:

    Aman and Bitts:
    You are so right – A dog will lighten your mood when you need uplifting the most.

    Autism Information:
    I am glad to hear that you enjoy this post.


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