Farm Animals Can Keep You Happier and Healthier

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There are many health benefits to owning a pet. Having a pet can not only increase opportunities to exercise, get outside, and socialise and can also decrease your blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

Pets have also been proven to help manage loneliness and depression by providing us with companionship.

But, did you know farm animals can also play a unique role in preserving your physical and mental well-being?  If you have the means to look after farm animals and you’ve been looking for a good excuse to adopt farm animals, below are 5 ways that farm animals can help you live a happier and healthier lifestyle.

5 ways that farm animals can help you live a happier and healthier lifestyle

1. Reduces the risk of asthma and allergies in children and babies

Research has shown that the more time children spend with farm animals, the significantly lower their risk of asthma and allergies.

2. Boosts immunity

Not only does being around farm animals help lower a child’s risk of asthma and allergies, but studies have proven that children that spend more time with farm animals tend to have stronger immune systems, more resilient gut microbiomes and less chronic childhood disease than children that spend more time in the city, and many of these health benefits are due to the microbe-rich barnyard dust that children inhale, which (believe it or not) challenges and strengthens their immunity over time.

Additionally, spending time outdoors and tending to animals exposes us to natural sunlight which helps boost vitamin D levels. Plus, farm chores promote regular exercise and movement—all of which strengthen immunity too.

3. Healthier food & superior nutrition

When you raise your own animals, you have total control over what goes into their bodies, which typically results in fewer antibiotics and artificial hormones.  

Raising your own animals for milk and eggs has proven to have notable health benefits.

Chickens raised in an environment with ample access to the outdoors, green grass, worms, etc. produced eggs with double the amount of vitamin E and omega 3 fatty acids and a higher concentration of vitamin A.

Dairy cows raised on pastures give milk which is higher in essential fatty acids like anti-inflammatory omega 3.

4. Helps protect your mental and emotional health

Horses have long been used as therapy animals for children and adults with disabilities, and horseback riding through equine programs has been shown to help quell stress and anxiety in teenagers by reducing cortisol levels.

Care Farms are special non-institutional settings where people can interact with and care for farm animals as part of their healthcare treatment program. On a Care Farm, the basis of therapy comes from interacting with farm animals whilst doing meaningful work for the duration of the course.

The animals on these Care Farms have shown great promise in providing patients with a variety of mental and emotional benefits such as:

    • – Better coping skills
    • – A distraction from their problems
    • – A source of relaxation
    • – Enhanced feelings of acceptance and purpose
    • – Stimulating healthy behaviour
    • – Opportunities for reflection and feedback
5. Helps protect your physical health

Animals provide companionship and purpose – both of which are important in protecting your heart health and longevity. Regular interaction with animals has been shown to benefit physical health by:

  • – Lowering blood pressure and cholesterol
  • – Reducing stress
  • – Improving physical fitness
  • – Reducing the risk of obesity

If you would like to adopt any of our farm animals, you can visit our farmyard at the Cape of Good Hope SPCA.

Did you know farm animals can play a unique role in preserving your physical and mental well-being?

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