Benefits of Pet Ownership for Individuals with Psoriasis
Owning a pet is beneficial for many people regardless of having a medical condition such as psoriasis. Having a pet can make you more relaxed, get you to be more active, and it gives you a friendly companion to come home to at the end of your day!
Unfortunately, around 36% of those with psoriasis will develop psoriatic arthritis as well which is inflammation of the joints which causes stiffness and pain. To alleviate some of this discomfort, experts recommend walking every day to relieve joint pain and stiffness and to loosen up your joints as well. If you get a pet that requires walking, such as a dog, then this will encourage you to get up and move which will decrease pain in joints.
Not only can walking and owning a pet such as a dog help with joint pain, it can also help with keeping your heart healthy. Studies have shown that people that own dogs have a lower risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. This is because having a pet such as a dog can encourage you to walk more, which is healthy for your heart and good for those of us with psoriasis who have a higher risk of developing some sort of cardiovascular disease.
Pets are not only good for your physical health, but your mental health as well! Having a pet gives you something to look forward to when coming home and can make you feel less lonely. It can aid in stabilizing your mental health as well as your endorphins. A pet can also help lower levels of stress and anxiety. Studies have shown that when people who are under stress are able to interact with an animal, their stress levels significantly decrease in comparison to not having a pet. If you are experiencing a flare up or a stressor, having a pet may be able to calm you down mentally and get you in a better mindset to continue doing the things you love to do everyday rather than feeling discouraged or embarrassed about your psoriasis.
Having a furry friend whether you have psoriasis or not is beneficial to overall health. They encourage you to get out of the house, and give you a companion that you can always rely on! While it is important to take into account the financial and time commitments a pet would bring on as well, in our opinion, the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks and will affect your life positively overall.
And remember, pets can be a huge responsibility. Before buying a dog, cat or pet, please conduct your own research and consult a veterinarian about what is best for you and your family.