Pets Have a Positive Effect on our Health–Pets Appreciation Corner, Mosaic Homecare Services & Community Resource Centre

Posted by admin on February 14, 2017 in Health and exercise, Loneliness and isolation, Pets |

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Meet Maize who looks like he provides his owners with happiness!

Welcome to Pet Appreciation Corner at Mosaic! Mosaic Home Care Services asks the community to share with us their pet pictures and stories to show our appreciation for pets and the positive impact they have on our lives.

Studies from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the University of Lincoln in the U.K and the University of Missouri have shown the incredible health benefits that pets have, providing an important role in our lives. A number of great articles on the benefits pets have on seniors can be found on the Pets for the Elderly Foundation website and the Humane Society of Canada, which helped to provide the statistics below. In 2008 the Humane Society of Canada released a report, “Silver Paws: The Role of Pets in Reducing Human Health Care Costs” looking at how pets could reduce costs on the healthcare system, referencing an Australian study that found:

  • · people who own pets typically visit the doctor less often and use less medication
  • · pet owners, on average, have lower cholesterol and lower blood pressure
  • · pet owners recover more quickly from illness and surgery
  • · pet owners deal better with stressful situation
  • · pet owners are less likely to report feeling lonely

The studies from the Pets for the Elder Foundation and the Humane Society of Canada have shown to increase physical activity, lower stress levels, lower blood pressure, and stave off loneliness. The strong bonds that we share with ours pets are especially beneficial to seniors and people who are ill, by providing a social connection and comfort in their time of need. Pets help to improve our quality of life and both physical and mental health. Here are a number of benefits pets can have on our health:

1. Physical Activity

Your physical activity increases when you have a pet. Walking your dog frequently means that you have to walk too! Physical activity does not increase only for dog owners, as “cat owners are equally as active”. Research has also suggested that pet owqners recover faster from surgery and illness. Being more physically active means that pet owners averaged one less doctor visit per year than people without pets, research from the University of California suggests.

2. Lowers Stress and Blood Pressure

Our pets help to lower our stress levels and our blood pressure as well. Pets act as mood enhancers to help us stave off depression and anxiety, lowering our stress. They also have benefits for our hearts with research showing that having a pet decreases heart attack mortality rate by 3%” and have “significantly reduced levels of…cardiovascular disease”.

3. Socialization

Research has shown that “pet owners were 36% less likely to report loneliness compare to seniors without pets” with 79% of pet owners finding it comforting to be with their pet when things go wrong. Having a pet provides people with another social connection. Studies have shown the positive health benefits of social connections. The connections that we create with our pets fill in that void as well. Those hugs, silly pictures, and times we play with our pets are just as good for us.

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Meet Maize who looks like he provides his owners with happiness!

Pets provide us with a better quality of life and improved our health, physical and mental. Playing games and walking our pet helps to keep our pets, and us healthy, with consistent exercise. The social connections created with pets help to improve our mental health and well-being. Through those connection being a pet owner can lower stress levels and blood pressure. Do you have a picture and a story of your pet? Share it with Mosaic for our Pet Appreciation Month! You can submit your stories and photos to Kevin at kevin@mosaichomecare.com. Be sure to include your name, pet’s name and organization so that Mosaic can give credit for your contribution! You can view the stories and pictures that have been sent in on Mosaic’s Facebook Page as we have an album showcasing everyone’s lovely pets. We look forward to seeing and hearing your wonderful pet stories!

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