Do People With Pets Live Longer?
When you have a pet, they can give you undying love, companionship, and if you have a dog that needs to go out for a walk every day you will get exercise. Pets are your family and they might actually be able to help extend your life. Studies at the University of California, Riverside show that the verdict is a bit astonishing on whether having a pet can indeed extend your life. They have been doing this study since 1921 with 1500 people from their childhood onward.
Researchers did a study for fourteen years where they asked people in their 60’s questions regarding how they interacted with their pets – how long they played with their pets. They also studied people who led socially isolated lives. Their research came up with the same results whether the people had a pet or not.
Being connected to other people in a community have a great effect on the longevity of the subjects studied. The study that was conducted in 1980, showed that when people were discharged from the hospital – coronary care – were sent home where a pet lived, they had a longer survival rate. When the elderly has someone or something to care for – like a houseplant or pet – they have a sense of responsibility and emotional interaction it might account for their improved longevity.
Interacting with animals have been known to improve the longevity and quality of life. They have added animal therapy to most hospitals and nursing homes where it has shown improvement in the elderly’s loneliness and depression.
In some countries – Japan, Denmark, Sweden, Italy, and the United States – where they are concerned about allergies, they have implemented the use of artificial pets like robots with much success. There is an artificial seal called Paro who has a happy face, and artificial fur to help improve the depression scores of the residents in nursing homes.
Pets may not be proven to improve the longevity of people, but they do help with companionship, friendship, and affection. They also have an impact on the well-being of people no matter their age.