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:
Being in the presence of a pet has been proven to reduce stress, lower blood pressure, and decrease feelings of anxiety.
They encourage us to get out of the house and be active outdoors
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.
Being active with our pets keeps our hearts healthier
Routine physical activity means lower obesity, lower cholesterol, and lower blood pressure.
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 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!
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.