Animals aren’t just adorable to look at and spend time with – a slew of brand-new research confirms that just seeing or being around the pets we love delivers amazing health benefits, from chasing away the blues to preventing heart attacks to actually lengthening your life!
Amazing but true: Exposure to sound frequencies of 20 Hz to 50 Hz – exactly the frequency range of a cat’s purr! – is proven to increase bone density. No surprise then that cats have fewer bone fractures than dogs and less hip dysplasia and arthritis. And that’s not all: Many scientists suspect those same frequencies thicken the bones of other species, including humans. In fact, it’s already been proven with chickens and rabbits; it two separate studies, daily exposure to the vibrations led to up to a 20% increase in bone density and strength in both species! So even if you’re still not convinced your cat’s purr can benefit your bones, odds are it’s benefiting your other pets!
Think having a cat leads to childhood asthma? According to new study, the opposite is true! Columbia University researchers report that by age five, children raised with a cat are much less likely to develop asthma than those in pet-free homes or even those with dogs! Making antibodies to cats at a young age appears to protect against wheezing and other respiratory symptoms throughout life. Other studies have shown a reduced risk of allergies (even non-feline-related ones, like pollen) in kids with cats!
Protect you heart!
Living with cat lowers your risk of heart disease even more than taking cholesterol medication! After tracking nearly 5,000 people for 10 years, scientists at the University of Minnesota’s Stroke Research Center concluded that having a cat lowers the risk of heart disease an amazing 30% and slashes your odds of having a heart attack a whopping 40%, compared to people without any pets or those with only dogs! Researchers theorize that petting a cat – and listening to its calming purr – lowers stress levels so effectively, it helps stop heart problems from developing!
Boost kids grades!
A dog can help your child’s reading and math skills! Two separate studies found students who practiced reading aloud to their dog improved their skills 20% more than those who read aloud to other kids or adults. Other studies have found having a dog reduces math anxiety, as well as symptoms of ADHD. And a slew of research reveals that kids with dogs are more confident, set higher goals for themselves, participate in more extracurricular activities and are even more agreeable about doing household chores and homework!
Improve your relationships!
A whopping 70% of families report feeling happier and less stressed after getting a dog, say Texas A&M researches. And that’s not all: Scientists at the State University of New York at Albany found couples become closer, more connected and more loving toward each other after bringing a dog into the home! Petting a dog triggers a rush of oxytocin, the so-called “cuddle” hormone that heightens feelings of trust and closeness!
Keep you fit!
Want to get in better shape? Get a dog! Dog owners walk an average of 30 minutes a day at least five days a week – 66% faster, according to a study of exercise habits of nearly 6,000 people. That may help explain why an Australian study found that children who had a dog in their household were less likely to be overweight or obese than children without a dog – and another study that showed that dog owners need fewer doctor’s visits than those who live without one.