At Hallmark Care Homes, we support residents in welcoming their four-legged friends into our homes as an extension of our relationship-centred care approach. Walking pets can be great for your cardiovascular health, but did you know that there are lots of health benefits to owning a pet? Read the top five below:
1) Improves fitness
Getting out and about with your fluffy companion can be great for your well-being. As well as getting plenty of fresh air, walking is a great way to exercise, helping your heart and lungs stay healthy and improving your overall fitness levels. It’s also a great way to get out and about with other pet owners, visit new places with your pets and explore the great outdoors!
2) Lowers blood pressure
Several studies have shown that the blood pressure of a dog owner is lower than that of non-owners. Several studies also show that people’s blood pressure goes down when people pet a dog, which dog owners do regularly!
3) Lowers Triglyceride levels
Many medical studies have found that owning a dog can lower your triglyceride levels. Triglyceride is a type of fat found in your blood and high levels can lead to an increased risk of stroke, heart attack and heart disease.
4) Reduces risk of social isolation
‘Dog is a man’s best friend.’ Pets offer unwavering support without judgement. They love unconditionally and we can form extremely strong bonds with our beloved pets. Many studies also show that pets can help reduce loneliness and reduce the risk of social isolation. Pets are a great conversation starter to meet new people when out and about with our pets, and they also give great cuddles to help us feel loved.
5) Reducing stress levels
Pets, especially dogs, can help reduce our stress levels. Interacting with a friendly dog reduces levels of cortisol, the stress hormone. And it increases the release of oxytocin—another chemical in the body that reduces stress naturally. Oxytocin is also called the ‘love hormone’ which could explain why we love our pets so much!