As my kids have fallen in love with our new little bunny and have connected deeply with our dog, I've taken notice (more than I ever have) as to the power of pets.
They are not only our best friends, kids, and companions — they seem to make us feel better when we’re around them. They literally seem to have healing powers.
It turns out, there is some scientific research on this that I wanted to share. I did a bit of digging and found some interesting things that I think we should all know.
#1 - Pets decrease risk of heart attack and decrease blood pressure.
According to Allen McConnell, PhD, a psychology professor at Miami University who specializes in human-pet interaction, “Owning a pet gives you a sense of purpose and belonging that can increase feelings of positivity and lower stress levels, all of which translates to health benefits.”
A 2008 study conducted over 20 years revealed that cat owners are 40 percent less likely to die of a heart attack and 30 percent less likely to die from cardiovascular disease, than those who don’t have cats. The Journal of Vascular and Interventional Neurology actually recommends men and women who are already in the high-risk category for cardiovascular disease to adopt a cat to better their health.
MCConnell’s findings are supported by the American Heart Association, which also points out that dog owners tend to get more exercise via regular walks.
#2 - Dogs can sometimes smell cancer.
There have been numerous stories of people who have discovered they have cancer because of the actions of their dogs. A perfect example is a man who was minding his own business when his dog (who had never been aggressive before) bit and injured his foot. He went to the doctor and found he had cancer in that very spot.
Also, a Boxer kept sniffing and pawing at his master’s breast. A woman was diagnosed with breast cancer in the past but had been in remission, decided she should go to her doctor. She was told the cancer had come back, but caught it in time — thanks to her pup.
Dogs can be trained to smell lung and breast cancers. In a recent study, five ordinary household dogs were trained (much like dogs who sniff out bombs) to detect cancer by smelling the human breath.
Fifty-five lung and 31 breast cancer patients were used – remarkably, the dogs were 99% accurate in identifying cancer.
#3 - Cat purrs are more powerful than you think.
Studies have revealed that cat purr vibrations — which range between 20 and 140 hertz (Hz), have the power to inspire bone healing and strength. If for any reason, you’ve had a recent injury, it’s an excellent idea that you curl up with one of your purr masters.
Also, the purr has been found to decrease dyspnea (caused by asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD, and bronchitis), cure infection, lower blood pressure, and heal tendons and ligament injuries.
#4 - Horses are amazing therapists.
Horses have also played a role in helping men, women, and children overcome cancer. They have been proven to help ease cancer patients’ anxiety level, rediscover their enthusiasm — which in turn helps better the immune system.
There is a definite reason why horses are commonly used to help both children and adults with autism, anxiety, and lack of focus. Horses have an amazing ability to read people and help them learn how to live at the moment, increase motivation, improve self-esteem, and connect with others.