Buy A Pet And Watch Your Blood Pressure Drop
By Patrick McNally Ph.D.
Animals can make you feel better.
Today more than ever pets have become an important part of many people’s lives. The family dog or cat becomes part of the family and to old people who live on their own they are wonderful loyal companions.
I truly believe that having a pet around also helps with a number of key components in your life. For example if you own a pet there are now many benefits both mentally and physically.
- Lower blood pressure
- Lower cholesterol levels
- Lower Triglyceride levels
There is also evidence to show that there is a higher survival rate in heart attack victims when they own a pet. Pets offer companionship and this also helps reduce loneliness.
Pets also provide you with an opportunity to meet other people, perfect for getting back into the dating game. There are pet shows worldwide and forums online where you can hook up with people with similar feelings towards their pets.
A nice thing about pets is they need exercise, which means you can tag along for the walk. I have Clydesdale heavy horses, so when I am at the farm ploughing a few hectares, I walk all the way. When I am out in the fields driving these massive beasts and attempting to keep a straight furrow and checking everything else you need to check, my body receives a perfect workout.
I am often asked if I can help an owner train their animal and recently I had the chance to practice with a puppy dog. The owner had no idea about teaching this dog at all. I suggested puppy training school and loads of other ways but she wanted me to do it.
I watched the owner let the puppy go and then spend ages attempting to get it back on the lead. She had no treats with her, no idea of how to reward the dog, not a clue.
The fascination for me is when I work with humans most of them can’t understand that unless they feel rewarded, they just won’t be motivated. Just like the pet, you need to reward yourself all the time. Your dog trusts that you will feed it, exercise it, play with it and love it unconditionally. Yet the major difference in humans and the animal kingdom is this. If you smack a pet for doing wrong, the pet normally accepts the punishment and will immediately return to a place of trust again. The family dog won’t give you the silent treatment, it won’t sulk for days and it won’t tell you to go fetch the ball yourself when you throw it next.
So you scold the dog for bad behaviour and three seconds later clap your hands and call it over and the dog happily arrives, tail wagging ready to trust you again. Humans can’t get over things anywhere near as quickly as animals and when you can’t get over things quickly you dwell on them and build resentment.
If you can, get a pet. Pets can give you a sense of purpose as well as enjoyment. I was informed recently that children who have pets in the home have less allergies as well. The reduction of stress is another reason why you should have a pet. You have a busy day at work, you sit in traffic to drive home, you open the door and the pet comes running up to you and you sit and stroke it as you unwind and relax. Just don’t go mad and buy loads of cats and have them all over the home. There is nothing quite like owning a pet, you have a greater sense of caring for others and of course a pet will always remind you how grateful you should feel.
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