Did you know that having a furry friend by your side can improve your mental health and memory loss? Researchers at the University of Michigan revealed that having pets can also slow cognitive decline over time, as it delays brain aging for people in their 60s and older.
“Prior studies have suggested that the human-animal bond may have health benefits like decreasing blood pressure and stress,” Dr. Tiffany Braley declared, explaining that preliminary “results suggest pet ownership may also be protective against cognitive decline.”
The study lasted six years and took into account 1,300 adults with normal cognitive skills. 53 percent of people in the research are former pet owners, while 32 percent have been longtime pet owners, and it was concluded that cognitive skills decreased at a slower rate in participants that own pets, and slowed for long-term owners.
Additionally this seemed to be more beneficial for men. And this is not all, researchers included rabbits, hamsters, birds, fish and reptiles in the study, however it was found that “dogs were most prevalent” in the study, “followed by cats.”
Dr. Braley explained that “stress can negatively affect cognitive function” and “the potential stress-buffering effects of pet ownership could provide a plausible reason for our findings,” adding that “a companion animal can also increase physical activity, which could benefit cognitive health.”