See how your pet could be helping your heart

If your carrier has a pet policy and you’ve been thinking about taking advantage of it, this may help you make your decision.

According to data from the American Heart Association (AHA) and the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Houston, owning a pet may be associated with reducing your risk of heart disease.

So how does having a furry companion help your heart health?

1. Walking

Dogs need their exercise to keep them under control in the cab. Dog owners walk more, leading to a lower blood pressure than individual’s who don’t own dogs.

2. Stress Relief 

Petting your cat or dog can lower your blood pressure and cuts down on your stress hormone levels, according to WebMD.

3. Overall Health

The 2013 AHA study said pet ownership may be associated with lower cholesterol levels and a lower incidence of obesity.

Editor’s Note: You should not adopt a pet solely in hopes of reducing your risk of heart disease. If you’re considering adopting a pet, verify the details of your carrier’s pet policy beforehand. Not all carriers offer pet policies, and some may have specific restrictions.