The Best (and Worst) Pets to Own for Your Health

The Best (and Worst) Pets to Own For Your Health

( – Teddy bears and other stuffed animals might provide comfort when we’re very young, but pets can teach us to give and receive love for as long as they live.

Dogs, cats, and other small animals may even benefit our health physically and emotionally. Are you thinking about getting a pet and wondering which choices are the best and worst for your well-being? Read on for the answers.

What Are the Best Pets to Own For Your Health?

Purr. Bark. Meow. Arf! Cats and dogs rule when it comes to popular pets.

Puppies and kittens aren’t the only pets that offer health benefits. Here are all the animals that may benefit our well-being:

  • Dogs: Owning a dog may encourage us to move more, from taking Fido for walks to throwing a ball for Molly. The loving companionship of a dog may even improve our recovery after a heart attack if we live alone. Research indicates dog owners have lower blood pressure and better cholesterol levels than people without a pup.
  • Cats: When researchers compared the responses of people with cats to those who were feline-free, they found that cat owners experienced lower levels of stress. The study also revealed that cats seemed to keep their owners calm. When their cats were in the room, kitty parents even did better on math tests.
  • Birds: Chirp! Flutter! No time or patience to groom and train a dog or brush a cat and scoop out the stinky litter box? Say “Polly wants a cracker” to welcome a low-maintenance bird into your home. Just as with dogs and cats, birds respond to our affection and may ease loneliness.
  • Fish: While we can’t pet a fish, research shows that an aquarium filled with these graceful creatures may help us relax and even improve our mood. Fish also have lower risks of causing allergies than other pets.

What Are the Worst Pets to Own for Your Health?

When we think about possible pets, we might consider exotic choices rather than the typical dog or cat. But before we choose a more unusual pet, it’s important to learn how our choice may impact our health.

Here are the worst pets to own for your health:

  • Turtles: Although we might assume turtles are fun pets, the Humane Society of the United States warns that they deserve to stay in nature, rather than our homes. Turtles may carry salmonella bacteria. When infected, people with salmonella may develop diarrhea and fevers.
  • Rabbits: Rabbits may develop diseases that don’t make them sick but make humans ill. A rabbit purchased in a pet store might appear healthy. But by biting or scratching us, that pet bunny might give us health problems ranging from ringworm to parasites.
  • Reptiles: Just like turtles, lizards and snakes may spread salmonella to their owners. These reptiles also may pass botulism, worms, and ticks to people. In addition, a reptile may defend itself by biting or scratching.
  • Ferrets: Although increasingly popular pets, ferrets may be difficult to train. These animals may give no warning before biting and might be attracted to the odor of milk. That attraction has led to reports of ferrets attacking babies.

Whether we adopt a mixed breed dog from an animal shelter or bring home a Persian kitten with a pedigree, pets have the potential to enhance our well-being emotionally and physically. By understanding the best and worst pets for our health, we can make the right choice for our lifestyles. We hope that your pets bring you purr-fect joy!

~Here’s to Your Healthy Ascension

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