Why PETS Are Great For Your Heart

Health & Wellness, Heart Health


The expression, “a dog is a man’s (& girl’s) best friend” is especially meaningful when it comes to heart health.  Studies conducted in recent years have reinforced the concept that pets in general (and dogs in particular) impact major risk factors affecting cardiovascular health.  Listed below are several reasons why you should consider owning a pet (if you don’t already have one).

  1. Hugging your pet releases oxytocin.  As shown in the picture taken of my son and pet cockapoo, when he was just a puppy.  Oxytocin acts as an anti-stress hormone that not only boosts mood but also possesses blood pressure and heart rate lowering properties and may even assist in the regeneration of damaged heart cells.
  2. Owning a dog lowers cholesterol & triglyceride levels.  Increased activity levels through walking, jogging and playing with your dog can help to reduce levels of cholesterol and triglycerides.   In addition to LDL (the bad cholesterol), high levels of blood triglycerides (especially above 200 mg/dL or 2.3 mmol/L) have become increasingly recognized as an important contributor to adverse heart health.
  3. Stress reducing properties of pet ownership improves survival. Beyond increased physical activity levels and touching/hugging your pet, owning dogs or cats is associated with reduced risk of stroke. 
  4. Improves recovery time after illness. After a serious illness, having a pet helps to improve overall recovery time.  This may be particularly important if the person who is recovering has otherwise limited emotional support.
  5. Michael Miller, MD is Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland USA.  His pet dog “George Herman” is 10 years old and continues to learn new tricks!  Dr. Miller discusses other ways to boost heart health in his highly acclaimed book  “Heal Your Heart: The Positive Emotions Prescription to Prevent & Reverse Heart Disease“.

One thought on “Why PETS Are Great For Your Heart

  1. True! Whatever hurts or thoughtlessness other people may give you, rest assured your dog isnt goung too. Cause dogs are just so sweet and loving and understanding towards their masters. I just love our tsitsu so much. Ifeel so good when he is around.

    Liked by 1 person

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