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 certainly bring a smile to our faces!
We know that 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, such as heart disease, cancer, anxiety, and other mental disorders.
According to a Gallup survey, six in 10 Americans own some type of 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 actually can come with a lot of 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 offering a decrease in the risk for 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 maybe looking to meet and make new friends, this could be the trick. Having an adorable animal by your side leads to passerby taking notice. You exchange smiles and it 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 for 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. You could say the pet dander found on their hair is like a type of natural immunotherapy.
When you let your child help out with age-appropriate pet care tasks, this helps them learn responsibility. Children who are involved with animals often work with others better and view them more positively. Pets can also be comforting to children while helping them also develop empathy. Particularly for autistic children, interacting with a pet may assist 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 being done on the brain and how it responds to animal interaction. One of these studies shows that anxiety decreased even after just a 12-minute visit spent with a dog. Interaction with a gentle animal often leads to a significant reduction in anxiety and fear. Less anxiety and fear 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 both 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 find yourself sleeping better having 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 offers a huge host of benefits – increased immunity for warding off illness, mood improvement, and better cognitive function.
Benefits from 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? Plus, fish (depending on what species you choose) are pretty inexpensive, don’t have to take up a lot of space, and they’re a quiet pet.
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-3’s may help them better deal with inflammation, arthritis, and joint issues. Not to mention adding a possible boost for 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 bird’s 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, ours, and our furry four-legged friends. It’s great for digestive health and offers support in dealing with osteoarthritis and joint pains. Collagen can also be beneficial for the gut and digestion, along with promoting healthy skin and coat.
Wild Bone Broth – As a whole food protein powder, this product is packed full of nutrition. Just one scoop of the powder is equal to 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 problematic 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 in digestion, improves brain energy and mental function (especially good for older pets). Metabolic function, weight loss, arthritis, and bone health may also see benefits.
It can eliminate “doggy odor” and make coats healthy and sleek, helping out 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 foods of choice, we have both powder and liquid forms of MCT oil. This gives you options for easily adding it into their dish of food or you could prepare tasty homemade treats for them using this nutrient-rich ingredient.
Wild Turmeric Powder – Turmeric is amazing! And for the same reasons you use turmeric in your diet, you may want to consider adding it to your pets’ healthy lifestyle too.
So many diseases are caused by chronic inflammation and turmeric is highly praised for its anti-inflammatory effects. Extensive studies (like this one) are also showing 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, arthritis, and in some cases may even offer a healthy replacement for use of 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 a lot of 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 of your own.
Like 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, be sure to send their photos our way! We’d love to see and say hi to them. Just @wildfoodsco on Instagram or #wildfoods!
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