The Impact of Animals on Our Well-Being.

From reducing stress to boosting activity, learn how pets can help support overall well-being.

By Dr. Cassandra Struke-Conrad, DVM | December 2023

Dogs, Cats and pets can help support our blood pressure and cardiovascular health.

Throughout history, our lives have been enriched by the presence of remarkable companions. Dogs, cats, horses, and various other creatures have been steadfast allies, offering unwavering support through the ages. Yet, their significance transcends mere companionship; they are, in fact, unsung champions of our wellness. Animals have been living alongside humans as companions for thousands of years. Evidence of cats and dogs as domestic companions dates back over 2000 years. This relationship has evolved from one where the animals merely provided a service to humans, to a two way street with benefits to both the pets and the humans in the relationship.


The benefits to humans include:

  • Increased activity level for owners: This is especially true for dog owners but can apply to any pet owner. Whether this comes in the form of walking your dog, having play sessions with your cat or spending time outside with your horse, the presence of a pet (or pets) can help get you up and moving. Living a sedentary lifestyle is a known risk factor for various negative health conditions including obesity, heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure.
  • Longer life: A 2019 study¹ published in the American Heart Association journal showed that dog owners had a 24% reduction in death including death due to heart disease. 
  • Companionship: The same study looking at longer life in dog owners also theorized that dog owners live longer because of the presence of a furry four legged friend in the home. Pets of all types can provide a non-judgmental ear to listen to your problems and they seem to know just when you need that extra attention.
  • Better mental health: Many studies² have shown that having a pet can increase a persons’ mental health. Simply the presence of a pet in the home can lead to increased calming and can also lead to increased social connection, an important benefit as more of our life can seem to be online these days. 
  • Assistance in day to day life: We have long known about the benefits of seeing eye dogs for the Blind. But did you know that there are seizure and diabetic alert dogs? How about dogs and other animals to help people with autism or PTSD? There are therapeutic horse riding camps for children, showing that it isn’t just small animals that can help humans.
  • Decreased allergies in children: This benefit may seem counterintuitive initially. But studies³ have shown that babies and children who live with a pet in their younger years can have decreased reports of allergies and allergic reactions throughout their youth. There is even a suggestion that the more pets you have, the more protection against allergies!
  • Opportunity for children to learn about compassion and care for others: Encouraging children to be compassionate to those around them can be encouraged by the presence of pets. An animals’ tendency towards unconditional love can provide positive feedback to a child experiencing difficult situations. All ages of children can learn about how to care for others through a pet in their life

Canadian research has unveiled the uplifting influence of having furry companions on our health journey. A fascinating study featured in the Canadian Journal of Cardiology4  explores the diverse perks of pet ownership, shining a spotlight on their stress-relieving qualities and contributions to heart health. This research emphasizes how our four-legged friends bring a soothing vibe to our lives, becoming vital contributors to our overall well-being. Notably, the study nods to their positive effects on blood pressure, showcasing the holistic benefits of having pets by our side.

This is not to say that there aren’t benefits to the pets as well. Things have undoubtedly come a long way since we started domesticating animals all those years ago. Pets now enjoy a much more pampered lifestyle, living indoors with their owners (okay, maybe not the larger animals) and having their needs met with nutritious foods and social interactions with their people and other animals. They are more than mere pets; they are cherished members of our family. The veterinary industry has recognized the importance of this bond and offers advanced certification in the study of the human-animal bond so that they can help to encourage its growth.


In our search for supplements, herbal remedies and vitamins to help control blood pressure, it’s wonderful to realize that pets can be a natural way to help us manage our blood pressure and cardiovascular health, with so many other mental and physical health benefits too! 

As we celebrate the partnership between humans and animals, let us not forget that this bond is a reciprocal one. Together, we have embarked on an extraordinary journey of mutual support, enhancing each other’s lives in countless ways. Whether it’s through increased activity, improved mental health, or the simple joy of companionship, our pets are our partners in wellness, and the benefits they bring are immeasurable. 

So, let’s continue to cherish and nurture this unique bond, it is a source of enrichment, joy, and well-being for all.


Important Information

Always consult with your health care provider before making changes to your blood pressure management plan. PreCardix® does not treat, cure or prevent medical conditions. Measure and monitor blood pressure regularly. Know the signs of heart attack and stroke. Do not take PreCardix® if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, have renal artery stenosis, history of angioneurotic edema or shellfish allergy.