Study reveals why it pays to have pets

A new study has revealed the benefits that having a pet can have on our health, including combatting depression, Alzheimer’s and heart disease.

Research compiled by Tombola reveals that petting a dog for 15 minutes can lower blood pressure by 10% and those with pets are less likely to suffer with depression.

As a nation of pet lovers, in fact there are 51 million pet owners across the UK, data shows that owning a pet reduced the risk of heart disease and increased the chances of living longer.

Researchers found that petting a dog for 15 minutes releases serotonin, oxytocin and prolactin and even lowers the stress hormone cortisol. These feel good hormones help to lower our stress and anxiety.

Studies show that it’s not just dogs, interaction with cats, rabbits and even turtles can also have the same effect, as researchers found that petting a living creature, whether furry or shelled massively reduced anxiety in participants.

The research by Tombola also found that growing up in an environment surrounded by animals helps to create a better immune system and benefit the body’s response to anxiety.

The study also revealed people with pets are also less likely to suffer from depression and revealed the top dog and cat breeds that can help with depression.

The top dog breeds that help with depression are Labradors, Viszlas and Poodles and at the top of the list for cat breeds that help with depression are Sphynx, Ragdolls and Main Coons.

The study also shows that pets are an effective way of combatting loneliness as they give their owners a sense of routine and a reason to leave the house.

To ready the study and for more information on how pets benefit our health, you can visit