New research has found that petting a dog for 15 minutes can lower human blood pressure by 10 percent.
The research by Tombola also found that placing aquariums in nursing homes can improve pacing with Alzheimer’s patients and that growing up in an environment surrounded by animals helps create a better immune system and benefits the body’s response to anxiety.
Research shows that owning a pet reduced risk of heart disease and increased chances of a longer life. Pet owners were also found to be less likely to suffer from depression, with the Labrador named as the top breed for helping with depression. The Viszla and Poodle followed the Labrador as the second and third most popular dogs to combat depression.
Cats were also found to be useful in improving the health of their owners, with the Sphynx, Ragdoll and Main Coon considered the best for helping with depression.
A pet owner with PTSD who was interviewed on how his dog had helped him with his condition as part of the research, said: “They don’t have input, ‘this is what you should do, or maybe you should try this’ or all the other commentary I get from people, who are trying to be helpful in their own right, their dying devotion and love, it’s true friendship.”