Of course as animal lovers we all know the benefits of having a dog or cat around to welcome us home after a hard day, to cuddle up with on the couch as the game is on…. But what we know is based primarily on how they make us feel. As it turns out there are actual medical facts that now tell us that there are unbelievable health benefits to petting your dog or cat.
The emotional ties we have to our pets are obvious, as stated above, and if looked at on a deeper level, our pets understand when we’re sad, when we’re mad, or even when we aren’t feeling our best physically. They have a keen sense—the very same sense that would have kept them safe in the wild should things have happened differently for them.
Just take a look at that stray kitty or dog that won’t come close no matter how many times you call it, they keeping their distance. That same instinct is also keen at spotting danger in someone he or she loves. The phenomenon has been reported extensively.
Just what are the health benefits to petting your dog or cat? Keep reading to find out the details of a recent study…
These reports have not been looked into thoroughly enough and all we have are testimonials, but the possibilities are there. As has been reported over at healthypawspetinsurance.com, a man stated that it was his cat that first detected a form of lung cancer that he had been afflicted with, the cat actually running its paws down the left side of his body—the precise spot in which the invasive disease was found.
There’s that keen sense we talked about above, but as it turns out there are a lot of other health benefits to having a trusted dog or cat around—and these can now be proven a tad more effectively.
In a piece written by CNN, there are unbelievable health benefits in the simple act of petting your dog or cat…the benefits are specifically for your brain believe it or not. Rahel Marti, who is a doctoral student at the University of Basel in Switzerland, and an author of a study looking at this in detail; her main focus of the study is in the interactions humans have with animals, specifically “animal assisted interventions,” and even clinical psychology, as the aforementioned report suggests.
She has said about the study:
"“We chose to investigate the frontal cortex because this brain area is involved in several executive functions, such as attention, working memory, and problem-solving. But it is also involved in social and emotional processes…If patients with deficits in motivation, attention, and socioemotional functioning show higher emotional involvement in activities connected to a dog, then such activities could increase the chance of learning and of achieving therapeutic aims…”via CNN"
As it turns out, and in a completely different study, it has been found that caring for an animal of any kind is beneficial to the brain, specifically helping prevent memory loss.
Jennifer Applebaum at the University of Florida had this to say on the matter:
"“To our knowledge, our study is the first to consider the effect of duration of pet ownership on cognitive health…More research is needed to explain these findings…we are lacking sufficient information about men (and other genders) AND people of color, especially Black pet owners…We do not recommend pet ownership as a therapeutic intervention…However, we do recommend that people who own pets be supported in keeping them via public policy and community partnerships.”via CNN"
In the end the emotional ties we have to our dogs and cats outweigh even the health benefits, as our dogs and kittens are an extension of ourselves in many ways, and we love and protect them with all our hearts and might, as they obviously do for us.
The studies into these phenomena are great work and we hope they continue to find all the mysterious benefits our furry loved ones hold for us. In the meantime, we’ll continue to love and appreciate them for what they are: Humankind’s greatest allies, confidants and sidekicks…and sometimes, our most trusted soothsayers and guards, sometimes they know even better than we do.
Any stories out there that can back up some of these claims about petting? We’d love to hear them, dear reader