Pet Dogs And Cats: 6 Health Benefits

Posted by: Kathy  /  Category: How to care for your Shih-Tzu puppy

Pet Dogs And Cats: 6 Health Benefits (PHOTOS)

Posted: 12/17/10 08:25 AM ET


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As the holiday season approaches, pets are often at the top of many children’s — and some adults — gift lists. You may find the image of an adorable puppy or kitty nestled under the tree or by the hearth pretty irresistible. But you might also be concerned that a new pet can wreak havoc with your home or even be hazardous to your health. Certainly a rambunctious puppy, kitty, or other pet can soil, scratch, chew, and nip. And although some animals do carry diseases, the risk of zoonoses — as these diseases are called — is much greater from exotic pets than more common ones. In fact, the health benefits of having a traditional pet far outweigh the risks for most people, according to Healthy Pets Healthy People, a division of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

The social and emotional benefits of pet ownership are many: companionship, affection, unconditional love, and entertainment, to name a few. Children raised with pets are more likely to be empathetic and social than kids without pets. And having a pet can help enhance a child’s self-esteem.

Recent research has also uncovered some surprising physical and psychological benefits of pet ownership for children and adults. And many of the positive effects are not just limited to dogs and cats, but rabbits, rodents, birds, fish, lizards and other pets as well. Here are six of these health benefits:


They Can Help Your Allergies
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Pets can help prevent eczema and some allergies in children. Babies and toddlers who live with dogs — but not cats — have lower rates of childhood eczema than those raised without dogs. And young children who’ve had a cat or dog since their first year of life have fewer pet allergies than other kids their age.


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