Pets are good for us

Keep Active

According to research, pets are good for us. Stroking dogs and cats or even watching fish swimming in their tank can lower your blood pressure and heart rate. Taking your dog for regular walks can provide you with a daily exercise routine.

Studies also indicate that pet owners require fewer visits to the doctor. Research carried out at Cambridge University found that owning a pet can improve our general health in less than a month, with pet owners reporting fewer minor ailments such as headaches, coughs and colds.

The health and social benefits are clear with some health professionals prescribing the adoption of a pet to combat depression, loneliness, inactivity, neurosis and stress.

Researcher Dr Zhiqiang Feng says: ‘It is well known that pet ownership may help alleviate feelings of loneliness and depression in older people, but one area that has received little attention is the effect of dog ownership on the physical activity levels of the elderly.

‘Our results show that dog ownership is associated with an increased level of physical activity in the over-65s. On average, older dog owners were 12 per cent more active than their counterparts who did not own a dog.’