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Pain relief

10 surprising benefits of cats and dogs

Dogs can detect cancer in their owners, while cats help relieve stress, reducing the risk of death from heart disease.


Pets not only make people happy but also bring about many health benefits. Here are the benefits of a pet offered by Reader’s Digest.

Avoid social isolation

In a study in the journal Anthrozoös about past experiences of being abandoned, participants were asked to name a photo of a cat, dog, person or toy. As a result, volunteers named the animals with more positive emotions than those who used the names given to photos. Individuals who treat animals or human-like objects (such as when talking to pets) are often empathetic and have special ways of thinking to combat negative emotions.

Loneliness reduction

Loneliness is closely related to many dangerous diseases like heart disease or Alzheimer’s. According to a study in the journal Aging and Mental Health, pet owners’ ability to feel loneliness is 36% lower than others. Research also shows that furry friends help people living alone to communicate better.

Reduce stress

A study in Sweden noted that the amount of cortisol or stress hormone in female volunteers decreased after 15 to 30 minutes of stroking a dog. Meanwhile, oxytocin or the happy hormone level increases after one to five minutes, for dog owners. Their heart rate also maintained lower after an hour.

Protect the cardiovascular system

Cats help relieve stress and reduce the risk of death from heart disease, cited a study in the Journal of Vascular Neurology and Neurological Interventions. People who currently have or have had cats have a lower risk of dying from heart disease than those who do not own the animal.

Keep your mind clear

Research published in Anthrozoös shows that older people who own cats or dogs are better able to focus, remember and make decisions.

Encourage exercise

When walking the dog, your health also improves. At the University of Michigan, research results show one of the many benefits of raising a dog shown at the time of exercise increased to 30 minutes.

Pain relief

Spending time with your pet can also help you avoid postoperative pain. Research in Anthrozoös found that patients who spent 15 minutes playing with dogs after joint replacement surgery used fewer pain medications than those who didn’t use this particular therapy.

Reduce the risk of allergies

According to a study of clinical and experimental allergies, pets lower the risk of childhood allergies. The likelihood of adults having allergies in families who own pets when they’re young is reduced by 50%. Early contact is important and rearing animals does not have the same effect on the immune system as above.

Control blood sugar

According to a study in PLoS ONE, individuals aged 9 to 19 can better control type 1 diabetes when raising pets. By actively taking care of animals, the blood sugar level is maintained more stable 2.5 times. The researchers concluded that those involved in caring for pets were more responsible and familiar with everyday tasks.

Against cancer

One surprise benefit of having a pet lies in their ability to detect cancer in humans. In the British Medical Journal, dogs can accurately detect early bowel cancer with high accuracy. Specifically, a trained Labrador retriever completed 74 sniffing tests including breath and stool samples. In it, it identified samples containing cancer: 33 out of 36 breath samples and 37 out of 38 stool samples. In addition, dogs can also detect other cancers such as bladder, skin, lung, breast and ovaries.




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