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“Pets Can Keep You Healthy”

Overall, we Americans love our pets. Four million own dogs. Seven million own cats. Five million own freshwater fish. Seven million own birds. Four million own small animals. Five million own reptiles. Six million each own horses or saltwater fish. According to the American Pet Products Association (APPA), most US households (67%) own a pet. But most people do not realize that your doggy, or your lazy cat, or your fish are good for your health. It doesn’t seem to matter if it is furry, feathered or scaly, they all seem to be good for you. Pets enrich our lives and improve our health in ways that we probably haven’t ever considered. Here are just some of the health benefits you could reap from pet ownership. Reduced cardiovascular risks. In May 2013, the American Heart Association (AHA) released a scientific statement declaring an association between pet ownership and lower risk factors for heart disease as well as longer life. Results from three AHA studies validate this association and dog ownership was associated with an increased likelihood of longer life, particularly among people who experienced a previous myocardial infarction or stroke. Two of these studies provided good, quality data indicating dog ownership is associated with reduced cardiac and all-cause mortality. Increased longevity. In the second of the more recent AHA studies, researchers analyzed data from over 3.8 million participants, and found that dog owners had a 24% reduced risk of all-cause early mortality, a 65% reduced risk of death after myocardial infarction, and a 31% reduced risk of cardiovascular mortality in general. Better blood pressure control.

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