- Man shot by police ID'd; witness shares his side of story (2/17/17)31
- Settlement reached in accidental shooting case at Kelly High (2/15/17)10
- Jackson board votes to demolish high school building if bond issue passes (2/15/17)24
- MSHP: McLendon shot in side; autopsy refutes witness account (2/19/17)23
- Cape officer shoots man inside a home (2/16/17)7
- Panda Express restaurant coming to Cape's Siemers Drive (2/14/17)2
- Business notebook: Owners ready to roll out the Barrel 131 (2/20/17)3
- Former Cape cop indicted on possessing child porn (2/17/17)
- Man dies after being shot by officer; said to have come at cop with knife (2/16/17)29
- Ray's of Kelso to close, then reopen under new ownership (2/16/17)6
Healthy pet, healthy you: Owning a pet has many health benefits for humans
Add this to your list of pros for getting a pet: Animals have been shown to have mental, emotional and physical health benefits on their humans.
First, the most obvious: Pets increase our activity level, whether we're walking a dog multiple times per day or playing with a cat. Taking care of a pet also helps us feel worthy, useful and less lonely, says Dr. Shelly Daume of Deer Ridge Animal Hospital in Jackson. Even simple actions like petting or talking to an animal have a calming effect.
"Pets have been shown to decrease stress in humans," says Daume. "Having a pet can decrease cortisol and increase serotonin levels, and that helps you feel better. It helps lower blood pressure and heart rate and those things lower the risk of heart disease. Pets can help with depression because they love unconditionally and will listen to you forever."
While cats and dogs are the most interactive animals, Daume says pets like birds and fish can also do the body good. Though you probably aren't cuddling these pets, they still provide a reason to get up and moving, and you can still talk to them.
Dr. Sean Byrd of Skyview Animal Clinic says dogs and humans actually benefit each other when they go on a weight loss program together. When humans see how a pet's extra weight damages his health, they're likely to monitor their pet's feeding and exercise, and do the same for themselves. Both humans and animals benefit by eating less, walking more and getting out of the house, says Byrd.
There's good news for others in the household, too: "Children raised around cats and dogs are healthier later in life," says Byrd. "They have fewer illnesses and allergies, including cat/dog allergies, among others."