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Positive Effects of Owning a Pet

PositiveEffects of Owning a Pet

Mostparents are skeptical when allowing their children own pets for fearof certain health reasons. Pets are associated with parasites,allergies, and excrement that can have detrimental effects on thehuman body. However, there are various standards of pet health whichhe observed can make pets beneficial companions in life. Individualswho are for their pets groom them regularly and take them to theveterinary clinic whenever they show signs of disease. Contrary tothe popular belief that pets are a threat to health, they canactually help to improve the well-being of individuals in variousways. People should cogitate on keeping pets because they fortify theimmune system, control blood, and arterial pressure and initiatesphysical fitness

First,Pets can help to counter allergies in later life. According toresearchers at the Mayo Clinic, allergic reactions take effect whenimmune system reacts to foreign substances, for instance, pollen, beevenom and pet dander (Habri Foundation). However, the body producesantibodies that counter the undesirable body reactions. A researchcarried out in last 25 years indicates that the human-pet bond canhelp to reduce chances of allergy in later life. James Gern, aleading pediatrician at the University of Wisconsin, published astudy in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology indicatesthat infants who had dogs in their homes had lower incidences ofallergies (Habri Foundation). According to the study, 19% of them hadallergies compared to 33% of the children who did not have pets athome. The children also had lower incidences of eczema and a higherlevel of specific immune systems (Habri Foundation). Another similarresearch conducted by scholars at the Department of Public HealthSciences collected information from 566 children to determine theeffects of the pets of their health. From the inquiry, teenagers whohad kept pets early in life exhibited a 48% owner risk of allergiesfrom cats. Additionally, teenage boys who had kept dogs earlier inlife had a 50% lower risk of allergic reactions. Pets, therefore, canhelp to reduce the incidences of allergy in America. Statisticsindicate that 20% of the Americans suffer from allergic reactions(Habri Foundation). Pets can reduce this population if people developthe right attitude towards them.

Apartfrom health, the human-animal interaction affects individuals’social behaviors. There is an increased positive social attention forpeople who walk around with pets. Most people in the walkwaysappreciate pets, and they may pat or scrub them as they pass by(Beetz, Kerstin, Henri, and Kurt 234). This acts as a social catalysteffect that prompts social attention, smiles, and conversation.Researchers have applied this behavior to mental health patients, andthe results have been recorded to strengthen the treatmentapproaches. For example, adult patients who have schizophrenia showimprovement through a dog-assisted therapy. In patients underpsychiatric care, animal-assisted therapy has been found to increasethe interactions between them during the four weeks that they are putunder care (Beetz et al. 234). Furthermore, the quality of health ofelderly patients improves through the introduction of pets. Thepresence of animals in their various settings influences social andverbal interactions.

Human-AnimalInteraction also has positive implications on blood pressure, heartrate, and variability. A study conducted by Friedman et al. toinvestigate the effect of a pet of blood pressure found out that itwas lower in children resting in the presence of a dog more than whenthe animal was introduced later during the resting period (Beetz etal. 234). In addition, arterial and blood pressure was also found tobe lower when individuals stroke a dog than when reading or chattingwith others. Another study carried out by Motooka et al. (2006) usedthe heart rate variability as a parameter for autonomic nervoussystem arousal. Individuals in the company a dog were found to havehigher heart rate variability than when walking alone (Beetz et al.234).

Petsalso have an indirect effect on physical health. People who keep petswalk them regularly, and in the process, they also shed numerouscalories. A research funded by NIH investigated more than 2,000adults who walk their dogs regularly. The study showed that they weremore physically active and had fewer chances to develop obesity. Inaddition, people who walk their pets tend to engage in moreconversations that help them to stay connected (Beetz et al. 234).Speaking with different people creates a platform for sharing ideasand creating healthy social relationships. Research indicates thatpeople who are socially connected tend to live longer and have lowerchances of developing mental health problems.

Conclusively,people should consider keeping pets because they strengthen theimmune system, control blood, and arterial pressure and instigatesphysical fitness. Children who have pets have been found to havestronger immunity towards allergies. Also, having a pet attractspositive attention from others, and this promotes one’s self-imageand mental health. Also, the presence of a pet reduces blood pressureand leads to a positive heart variability. Walking pets improves thephysical health of the owners, and they are less likely to becomeobese. The health benefits outlined in the various studies are enoughto justify the presence of pets in people’s homes. However, thebenefits are not widely accepted, and there is a need for creatingawareness on how pets can be used to improve health.


Beetz,Andrea, Kerstin Uvnäs-Moberg, Henri Julius, and Kurt Kotrschal.&quotPsychosocial and psychophysiological effects of human-animalinteractions: the possible role of oxytocin.&quot Frontiersin psychology3 (2012): 234.

HabriFoundation. Allergiesand Immunity,2011. Web. Retrieved Nov. 28, 2016.