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Pets make people healthier

Pets can make people healthier.
Pets can make people healthier.

Pet ownership can make us healthier. In a recent article for, writer Michael Shaw explains some historical evidence showing a long association with humans and pets. As far back as the 9th century, animals were documented as a type of therapy assistant, often to physically impaired people.

In 1999, an article was written by two nurses from University Hospital in Cardiff, Wales, entitled "An exploration of the potential benefits of pet-facilitated therapy." Authors Sarah Brodie and Francis Biley provided a historical perspective on the subject, invoking Florence Nightingale, among others. This article is one of the hallmark looks at how pet ownership can improve human lives.

According to Thomas Canby, in his 1979 National Geographic article entitled "The Search for the First Americans," dogs may have been domesticated by American Indians more than 30,000 years ago. Domesticated dogs from early times were probably not just pets, but worked along with early humans to hunt deer or other food sources, sound warnings, protect their human companions, and work as pack animals.

In modern terms, pet ownership provides humans opportunities to improve their health and well-being several ways.

• Improved cardiovascular health----Having a pet can lead to lowering blood pressure and stress reduction. Interaction with your pet seems to help you live longer. Alan Beck, ScD--director of the Center for the Human-Animal Bond at Purdue University--notes that besides making you feel good, petting your cat or dog also soothes your pet.

• Positive outlook----People with pets are generally happier, more trusting, and less lonely than those who don't have pets. They also visit the doctor less often for minor problems. Allen R. McConnell, PhD--professor of psychology at Miami University of Ohio--explains: "One reason for that may be that your pet gives you a sense of belonging and meaning. You feel like you have greater control of your life."

• Baby's immune system----Babies raised in families that have pets may be less likely to get allergies and asthma. In addition, babies with dogs or cats at home have fewer colds and ear infections during their first year than those living in pet-free homes. Beck notes that the pets have to be in the home early on, ideally before a baby is six months old.

• Pets and ADHD----Owning and caring for a pet can help kids with ADHD burn excess energy, learn responsibility, focus, and self-esteem.

• Physical fitness--- Dogs need walking. When humans walk their dogs, they receive the benefit of mild, regular exercise. This can help shed pounds, strengthen muscles, increase endurance, and improve mood. Playing with cats can improve body flexibility, stretch muscles, and increase the heart rate for a bit, all of which help with movement related health benefits.

• Service dogs have special abilities--- Service dogs have saved many human lives, from warning them of impeding dangers, to getting human help in emergency situations, to helping disabled humans in countless ways on a daily basis.

Humans bond with their pets on many levels. Pet parents want their animal companions to live healthy lives. Feeding pets an animal based diet, free of harmful ingredients, and balanced for dogs’ and cats’ specific health needs can help them live a long, full life. Hound & Gatos Pet Food is an all-natural, premium pet food free of grain, artificial colors, and additives harmful to pet health. It is made in the USA. To learn more about pet food and to find a store near you that sells Hound & Gatos Pet Food, click here. Sign up for emails, and follow them on Facebook and Twitter. Hound & Gatos has been awarded a place on the Most Trusted Pet Foods 2014 by

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