Forget the apple a day, have a pet to keep the doctor away!

posted on February 04, 2014 by Dr. Jamie Hartman

A recent study done in Australia found that kids that have a pet (specifically a guinea pig) in the classroom have better social skills and fewer problem behaviors.  This study was particularly looking at classrooms that had Autistic children present.  However, it has been found that animals can help a variety of human conditions and can be beneficial to your health overall.

According to WebMD, there are many benefits to having pets.  Pets can reduce allergies, asthma, and eczema.  They can reduce anxiety in Alzheimer’s patients.  They can increase exercise and companionship.  They can decrease depression.  They can decrease blood pressure and heart disease risks.  They can help with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), autism, and ADHD.

Dogs can also be trained to help people with diseases in a more specialized way-low blood sugar sensing dogs for diabetics, seizure sensing dogs for epileptics, seeing eye dogs for the blind, and cancer detecting canines.  Can do canines, a local facility, helps place dogs with people with a wide range of disabilities.

While not everyone needs a specially trained pet, there are many studies proving that pets can help improve your health and well being.  So give your furry friend a hug and enjoy the release of endorphins you’ll receive!

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