Call it pet power: Worldwide research indicates pets help their owners'
• People with hypertension who have adopted a dog or cat have lower blood
pressure readings in stressful situations than those who do not adopt.
• Walking a pet helps soothe nerves and relax pet owners, especially men.
• The companionship of a pet helps prevent heart disease because owners gain
greater psychological stability.
• Pet owners make fewer doctor visits, lowering health care costs, especially
for nonserious medical conditions.
• The likelihood of depression and feelings of loneliness is lower for pet
owners. Older people facing adversity or trauma gain a sense of security from
the affection and bonding behavior of pets.
Sources: Dr. Karen Allen, State University of New York at Buffalo; Josephine
Wills, Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition, United Kingdom; (U.S.) National
Institute of Health, Technology Assessment Workshop: Health Benefits of Pets;
and "Between Pets and People: The Importance of Animal Companionship" by Alan
Beck and Aaron Katcher.
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