Prescription for a High Quality Life: Pet

Pets Enhance Our Lives in Ways We Can Hardly Imagine

There is no denying that pets are a huge responsibility—their life is literally in your hands, and it is up to you to make sure they have everything they need to live a happy, healthy life. And yet, our pets do so much for us seemingly without even trying. Taking care of them gives us a sense of purpose, and their mere presence is a comfort. The unconditional love of an animal companion is truly a gift worth cherishing.

Benefits of Pet Ownership

Pets do so much more than brighten our days and keep us company, however. They can also provide us with many physical and psychological health benefits. Our pets can help us in the following ways:

  • They’re stress-relievers: Being in the presence of a pet has been proven to reduce stress, lower blood pressure, and decrease feelings of anxiety. Studies have shown that a pet can lower blood pressure by 20-30 points.
  • They encourage us to get out of the house and be active outdoors: Dogs exercise of owner pets make both more healthy. Lots of outdoor activity with your pet—whether you’re walking, jogging, or playing frisbee—will improve your physical and mental health. Physical activity releases endorphins, and being outside can increase levels of vitamin D in your body, which reduces feelings of depression. Horse riding for handicapped often twice as successful for than physical therapy.
  • Being active with our pets keeps our hearts healthier: Routine physical activity means lower obesity, lower cholesterol, and lower blood pressure. Pet owners are 5 times more likely to be alive 5 years past a heart attack. Doctors from Mayo Clinic and National Institute for Health often prescribe a pet in the house.
  • Growing up with a pet can build up your immunity to pet allergens: In a study conducted in 2011, it was found that children growing up with a pet in the home (starting at infancy) were less likely to become allergic later in life.
  • Pets can facilitate social interactions and help us build stronger relationships with the people around us: Often, two people are more likely to initiate a conversation if a pet is present. Social connections are extremely important to our emotional health, and to our well-being overall. Pets give us something to talk about and bond over. Having a pet in the house has shown to be great help with autistic children and helps with children’s social skills.
  • Having a pet can improve your emotional health, making you more self-reliant, confident, and social: By easing us into social interactions and keeping us mindful of the here and now, our pets can help improve our emotional well-being and give us more confidence in our day-to-day activities. The calm assurance of your pet being by your side can make a much bigger difference than you think! Even something as simple as a goldfish can help alzheimer’s patients with the common problems of anxiety and depression.

Sometimes all you need at the end of a hard day is an enthusiastic greeting from your animal companion as you walk in the door. The human-animal bond is the perfect trade-off—you take care of them, and they take care of you. Dogs, cats, and other pets may seem like simple animals with very basic needs, but there is so much more to them than we can ever truly know. What we do know for sure, is that the positive influence they have on our lives is absolutely indisputable.