There are many great reasons to adopt a pet, but your heart health may be one of them. Recent studies have shown that having a pet, especially a dog, can lower your risk for cardiovascular disease. Even though the exact reasons are still unclear, there are many possible explanations of why that wagging tail is protecting your heart.

A Change in Lifestyle

The research that has been done on this area has come up with several possible explanations for this reduction in heart disease among pet owners. For dog owners, the increased physical exercise of going for walks or playing outside is a clear and strong benefit.

According to the American Heart Association, a study of more than 5,200 adults, dog owners “engaged in more walking and physical activity than non-dog owners, and were 54 percent more likely to get the recommended level of physical activity.” Additionally, dog owners are far more likely to achieve these levels of physical exercise than cat owners.  Score one more point for the dogs.

Improving Your Numbers

Not only do dogs help increase your physical activity, owning a pet may help lower your cholesterol and your blood pressure levels. These two factors help combat obesity and other cardiovascular diseases. Pets also have a positive effect on your body’s ability to handle stress, which is good news for anyone.

Great Next Steps

Although your heart health might not be your primary reason for adopting a pet, it is certainly an added benefit. The Sarasota Humane Society offers a fantastic program that helps to rescue cats, dogs, and other animals in need. Not only does this help our community, but it may help your heart in the long run. The bottom line is that if you want a pet, you should probably follow your heart.

Your Heart Health

If you are concerned about your heart health, or if you would like to speak with a professional about your history of cardiovascular disease, make an appointment with Sarasota’s leading heart doctor.  Dr. Dilip Mathew, the premier electrophysiologist in Sarasota, specializes in ablation therapy, lead extraction and implanting pacemakers and defibrillators.