Who doesn’t love seeing a fluffy pile of adorable kittens or being greeted by a happy pup running over to say hi? Observing and interacting with animals can undoubtedly bring a smile to our faces!
Some canines are trained to be “seeing eye dogs” to assist the blind. Other dogs—as well as cats, birds, rabbits, and horses—are at times registered as “therapy pets.” They offer calm and reassurance to those with health problems like heart disease, cancer, anxiety, and other mental disorders.
According to a Gallup survey, six in 10 Americans own a pet. And sixty percent of Americans think pet owners lead more satisfying lives than non-pet owners.
Can house pets benefit our health, though? They can! With allergies aside, having a house pet can come with many perks!
Improved Health From Pet Ownership
Pet owners know they feel better being around their animal companions, and they feel a positive impact on their mood. Beyond that, other health benefits may come from pet ownership, such as:
Heart Health & Lower Blood Pressure
Since dog owners often walk more or spend time outside with their four-legged friends, they may have lower blood pressure and be less likely to get heart disease.
A study posted on NCBI was conducted to “compare risk factors for cardiovascular disease in pet owners and non-owners.” Results showed that pet owners had significantly lower systolic blood pressure and plasma triglycerides than non-owners. Those lower levels mean potentially decreasing the risk of strokes and heart attacks.
It has also been suggested that survivors of heart attacks and people who deal with abnormal heart rhythms may live longer than people with the same heart problems who don’t have pets around.
Walking a dog can help you connect with other people, so if you’re feeling lonely or looking to meet and make new friends, this could be the trick. Having an adorable animal by your side leads to passersby taking notice. You exchange smiles, which can often lead to conversations and socialization you may not have otherwise had.
Immune System Benefits & Allergy Prevention
While it’s true that certain varieties of animals can produce allergic reactions in some people, studies are being done on children and their risk of developing allergies later in life. It’s being noted that babies exposed to pet allergens have a lower risk of developing asthma by age 7. The pet dander found on their hair is like natural immunotherapy.
When you let your child help out with age-appropriate pet care tasks, this helps them learn responsibility. Children involved with animals often work with others better and view them more positively.
Pets can also comfort children while assisting them in developing empathy. Particularly for autistic children, interacting with a pet may help them with improvements in other human socialization settings.
We’ve already mentioned how some animals are trained to be “support” or “therapy” pets, but even if yours isn’t officially taught that way, you may still receive some mental advantages. There are more than just a few studies on the brain and how it responds to animal interaction.
One of these studies shows that anxiety decreased after just a 12-minute visit with a dog. Interaction with a gentle animal often leads to a significant reduction in anxiety and fear. Less stress and worry can also lead to less pain in certain conditions.
On top of that, cats purr. They do this at a consistent pattern and frequency between 25 and 150 Hz during their inhale and exhale breaths.
With its rhythmic pattern and vibration, your feline’s purr offers a soothing calm. Those vibrations also may offer the potential to aid in the body’s healing processes.
Thanks to lessened anxiety, you may sleep better with a pet in your family. Whether that’s because your cat’s purr lulled you off to dreamland or you feel better knowing you have a good watchdog in the yard, simply having an animal in the household can offer feelings of safety and comfort.
And, of course, a better night’s sleep provides many benefits – increased immunity for warding off illness, mood improvement, and better cognitive function.
The benefits of pet ownership are vast and many. But maybe you live in an apartment or a rental home that doesn’t allow furry friends.
What can you do? Even owning a goldfish has its health advantages.
Did you know that watching fish swim in a bowl or aquarium could lower heart rate and blood pressure? Fish (depending on your chosen species) are inexpensive, don’t have to take up a lot of space, and are quiet pets.
Can Pets Use Wild Foods Products Too?
- Wild Fish Oil: Depending on your pet, fish oil is full of essential fats for a dog or cat’s diet, just like they are on our own. Those good omega-3s may help them better deal with inflammation, arthritis, and joint issues. Not to mention adding a possible boost to their skin and coat health.
Wild Teas: Some of our Wild Teas are made from flowers or berries. These are always naturally grown, pesticide-free ingredients.
Dried flowers can be added to the food of many birds’ diets. This offers them variety in their meals, along with a lot of support for their health.
- Wild Chamomile provides a calming effect and a tasty flavor. Wild Curr Berr is a colorful blend of flowers and berries that they can enjoy. And speaking of flowers, Wild Hibiscus is another pure, single-ingredient floral option they may love dining on.
- Wild Collagen Peptides: Collagen is the most abundant protein in our bodies and our furry four-legged friends. It’s great for digestive health and supports osteoarthritis and joint pains. Collagen can also be beneficial for the gut and digestion, along with promoting healthy skin and coat.
- Wild Bone Broth: This product is full of nutrition as a whole-food protein powder. One scoop of the powder equals drinking 1½ cups of liquid bone broth!
Made from a mix of grass-fed bovine beef bones, our Wild Bone Broth is free of garlic, onion, chives, or scallions (that could bother some pets), and it contains type two collagen, 20g protein per serving, and 19 amino acids.
It’s valuable for offering support for complex digestive systems – soothing and repairing wellness in the gut.
- Wild MCT Oil: MCTs are medium-chain triglycerides, and they offer antibacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral benefits (among many others). Our MCT products are made from 100% sustainable, organic coconuts.
The American Kennel Association has discussed how coconut oil aids digestion and improves brain energy and mental function (especially good for older pets). Metabolic processes, weight loss, arthritis, and bone health may also see benefits.
It can eliminate “doggy odor” and make coats healthy and sleek, helping with skin conditions like hot spots, bites, stings, or just plain old itchy, dry skin. It may also offer a reduction in coughing and helps in eliminating hairballs.
Depending on your pet and their food of choice, we have both powder and liquid MCT oil. This gives you options for quickly adding it to their dish food, or you could prepare tasty homemade treats for them using this nutrient-rich ingredient.
- Wild Turmeric Powder – Turmeric is fantastic! And for the same reasons you use turmeric in your diet, you may also consider adding it to your pets’ healthy lifestyle.
So many diseases are caused by chronic inflammation, and turmeric is highly praised for its anti-inflammatory effects. Extensive studies (like this one) also show that curcumin in turmeric can selectively kill tumor cells, offering a hopeful cure for many cancers.
Turmeric has also been used in helping with gastrointestinal disorders and arthritis and, in some cases, may even offer a healthy replacement for using steroids for allergies and joint pain.
Wild About Pets
So whether you’re young or old, single, married, or with children – pet ownership can come with many rewards!
Oxytocin is the feel-good brain chemical we hear about that plays a role in social bonding. Emotional benefits from pet ownership can play out into physiological ones as well.
So consider raising your oxytocin levels naturally by interacting with a four-legged, feathered, fluffy, or fin-wearing friend. As George Eliot has said, “Animals are such agreeable friends―they ask no questions, they pass no criticisms.”
When you get and share Wild Foods products with your pets, send their photos our way! We’d love to see you and say hi to them. Just @wildfoodsco on Instagram or #wildfoods!
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