Physiological Benefits Of Animals Essay

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Physiological benefits
There are numerous studies that emphasize on physiological benefits of petting animals on human health. Pet interaction whether active or passive tends to lower anxiety levels in subjects and thus decrease the onset, severity or progression of stress-related conditions 2, 16. Furthermore, it is thought that the reduction in blood pressure achieved through dog ownership can be equal to the reduction achieved by changing to a low salt diet or cutting down on alcohol 3, 16. Petting animals have specifically been demonstrated to provide cardiovascular benefits. Some examples include as below:
 Increased survival time after myocardial infarction for dog owners 4, 16.
 Decreased risk factors for cardiovascular disease, particularly lower systolic blood
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Other studies have documented that children which have been exposed to pets in early life will experience enhanced immune function:
 Fewer allergies and less wheezing and asthma in children exposed to pets during infancy 5, 16.
 Protection against adult asthma and allergies in adults at age 28 when exposed to pets before 5, 16.
Several studies also have documented that there are overall general health benefits of pet ownership and animal interaction:
 Less frequent illness and less susceptibility to upper respiratory infection related to a significant increase in IgA levels occurred after petting a dog 6, 18.
 Increased lung function and overall quality of life in lung transplant patients who are allowed to have a pet 7, 18.
 Perceived pain significantly reduced in children undergoing major operations after participation in pet therapy programs 8, 18.
 A significant reduction in minor health problems for at least 10 months after acquiring a dog 9, 18.
 Fewer doctor visits per year for elderly dog owners than non-owners 9, 18.

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