Top Benefits of Having a Pet
For centuries, dogs, cats and other pets have shouldered the responsibility of overseeing humans and their needs, without asking for anything in return except for love. In honor of National Dog Week we’re looking into the endless benefits of having a pet, and there really are so many that we’ve decided to narrow it down to just ten.
So, here are the top 10 benefits of having a pet:
Decrease Stress. Studies have shown that performing a stressful task while having your pet with you causes people to experience less stress than if they were alone or had another person or family member present with them. Stroking a cat, watching fish swim, or just playing with your dog can melt worries away, even if for a moment. However, this allows you to come back with a fresh perspective and a higher tolerance for the stress-inducing activity, all while having your pet by your side.
Improve Overall Health. Having a pet can actually lower your blood pressure, your cholesterol and even decrease your risk of having a stroke or heart attack. It’s not surprising that pets can often be the best medicine, especially when you consider the fact that they naturally help people reduce their stress levels. This in turn causes blood pressure to go down which helps prevent other health issues. Pets also have a keen sense of smell, so they can actually help people detect high blood sugars and even cancer, sooner than most tests can, giving that person a higher chance of recovery and improving their survival odds.
Ease Pain. Many people suffer from chronic painful conditions, such as migraines, arthritis or even fibromyalgia. Having a pet around can be like taking a dose of Valium. When the person afflicted with the condition is more relaxed and even slightly distracted, their pain can lessen, putting them in a better mood and giving them a more fulfilling life. Studies have even shown that people with pets who are recovering from a short term painful condition, such as surgery, may require less pain medicine than those without pets.
Improve Mood. When you have a pet at home, every time you walk through the front door, they are there to greet you like you’re the most important person in the world, because to them, you are. And if you’re in a bad mood, they don’t care if you talk their ear off telling them every little detail of what happened, or if you don’t say a single word and just let them sit beside you on the couch in solidarity. Pets are there for you. No explanations or excuses needed. Even when most people say they want to be alone, they will rarely choose to isolate themselves from their pet, which gives them comfort in knowing that while they are alone, they are not completely on their own.
Help Socialize. The pet parent community is a very friendly one, so if you want to make friends, just take your dog for a walk in the park and watch how other pet parent come up to talk to you about your pup. There are also Meetup groups for cats, dogs, and other pet parents, which can help you make new and lasting friends, as well as, set up play dates for your fur babies.
Prevent Allergies. Growing up with pets can help kids prevent allergies and improve immunity. Studies have shown that children that grow up on farms or with furry friends in the home are much less likely to develop allergies, and are even sick less frequently than kids without pets or animals at home. Unfortunately, these benefits are not pertinent to adults, so getting a pet as an adult will not help to prevent or combat your allergies or improve your immunity.
Improves Child Development. The benefits of growing up with a pet for children are numerous, but it’s especially helpful for their emotional development. Kids who are attached to dogs or cats learn to express themselves in more ways and relate better, not only to other animals, but to other kids and adults, too. Pets are also hugely important for kids with Autism and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), as it gives them both comfort to hold and pet their furry friend, and a sense of focused responsibility when they care for their animal in predictable routines.
Keep You Fit. All dogs, regardless of their size or breed, need daily exercise, and the best part is that they love going out for walks. So, if your doctor told you to add a daily exercise regimen to your schedule, or if you just want to feel better, have more energy and lose a few extra pounds, get yourself a cute furry friend who will practically drag you out the door every morning. And on those days when you don’t feel like it, how can you say no to that cute face?
Make You Feel Safe. People who live alone often feel uncomfortable or even unsafe being home alone. Having a cat or dog with you there can provide a sense of comfort and a degree of safety. Most burglars will avoid homes with dogs because of all the noise they make and the fear of getting bitten.
Never Lonely. Having a best furry friend at home decreases feelings of loneliness. Pets are often the first and last thing we think about. They are our best friends, who are there for us when others can’t or don’t want to be. They don’t shy away from awkward moments or get mad at us when we come home late. Pets simply love us, flaws and all, unlike any person ever could.
It’s no secret that having a pet brings great joy and comfort to every pet parent and family. The unconditional love, support and companionship that furry friends offer their loved ones is unlike anything any human can provide another human. So, do something special for your pet this week in honor of National Dog Week, like take them for an extra long walk, buy them a favorite treat, or just give them a little extra attention.
If you don’t have a pet, consider adopting your best furry friend from a local shelter or humane society. It could improve your health, your mood, and even work wonders on your social life. The best part is you’ll always have someone to go home to that will love you, always and forever.