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“No Duh” Science Moment: Pets are Good for Us!

Scientific studies tell us what common sense already has: our pets can actually improve our health and state of mind.

service dog

Photo: cobalt123 (flickr)

Animals can have an incredible impact on our health and well being.

Many studies have shown that having pets in our lives can have many health benefits, but the question is: why?

Why Have Pets?

One study involves one of the most beloved pet movies of all time, Lassie. Scientists found that the level of cortisol (the “stress hormone”) in patients that watched the heart-touching flick decreased sharply.

Another study placed pet fish in the dining rooms of nursing-facilities. The result was an increase in appetite in the residents and overall beneficial weight gain.

A study even found that cats can play a role is decreasing your risk for a heart attack. Studying over 4,500 people, this research concluded that people with cats were 40% less likely to die of a heart attack than those who lived feline-free.

Your Kids Begging for a Furry Friend?

Don’t push aside these pet pleas too quickly. Animal companions can play a beneficial role in your child’s health as well!

One study looked at children ages 7-14, some with pets and some without. The children who had pets showed an increase in their self-concept and competence.

Whether we are using common sense, scientific experiments, or just plain old experience, it is clear to us that our pets can really improve our quality of life. Sure they may slobber, shed, scratch or stink, but the benefits of their companionship can be truly priceless.

Read More:

  • Pets are good for us: Where science and common sense meet (PsychologyToday)

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Molly Plunkett

is a journalism student at Indiana University and an online producer for A Moment of Science. She is originally from Wheaton, IL.

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