The Many Wonderful Benefits of Owning a Pet
Did you know that even watching videos of cute cats has the power to boost your energy and increase feelings of positive emotions? Yep, researchers over at Indiana University did a study on it and everything! Which brings us to our next point…
Pets play such a big role in our lives, whether it’s a more common household pet, such as a dog or a cat, or something a little less mainstream like a snake or a ferret.
And while these beloved friends help us to experience more joy and love in our lives, there are tons of other benefits that come about when you own a pet!
7 Wonderful Benefits of Owning a Pet
1. Pets Help Relieve Stress
A pet can be a huge source of emotional support, especially when we’re stressed. According to Harlold Herzog, a psychologist who has done extensive research on the human-animal connection:
“Studies have shown repeatedly that people’s good mood increases and bad mood decreases around pets. And so we know that there’s immediate short term benefits, physiological and psychological, with interacting with pets.”
2. Pets Encourage you to get more exercise
Anyone that owns a dog, including me, will tell you how much their dog helps them have a fantastic daily routine that includes exercise. Sure, your dog needs to go out, but it’s us dog owners that benefit the most, by having a reason to get up a little earlier and walk our best friends to their local park or beach and simply watch them enjoy life.
3. Therapy and Emotional Support
It’s been proven in many scientific studies that your pet helps lower your levels of anxiety and loneliness. That’s why you see so many people these days with ‘’service dogs’’ that they use instead of medication to help them stay calm and relax. Even if you don’t suffer from this it’s easy to see why it works. There is nothing more comforting and relaxing than hanging out with your pet.
4. Pets Teach Children About Responsibility
When a child has the opportunity to take care of a pet, they learn a number of valuable life skills such as responsibility, patience, loyalty, and empathy. Owning a pet also allows a child to experience unconditional friendship.
Pets don’t have the ability to judge, taunt, or bully, they’re unquestionably devoted and loving, teaching children to be more accepting and loving of themselves.
In fact, a 2015 study showed that children with ADHD who read to animals were able to develop their skills in sharing and cooperation, and showed improvements in behavioural problems.
Pets also help teach us about grief and loss. When a child loses its first pet, it’s an opportunity to really learn about the value of life. And for parents, it’s a moment in which they can teach their child how to grieve in healthy ways.
5. Pets: Friends and Matchmakers
Not only are our pets our friends, but they’re also a huge natural conversation starter slash talking point for strangers.
For example, a walk through the park may gain a lot of attention from fellow dog lovers. They may want to stop to pet him or her, or ask questions about its breed, which could then lead to chats on other topics and perhaps a new friendship or partner.
What’s also great about having a pet around is that they have the power to help people out of social isolation or shyness.
6. Pets are Advantageous for Those with Alzheimer’s Disease
It’s been shown that those with Alzheimer’s disease tend to have less anxious outbursts if they own a pet. It also provides them with companionship (and exercise, if they own a dog and are able to walk him or her).
Additionally, caregivers experience less of a burden when their loved one or patient has a pet, especially if that pet is low maintenance, such as a cat.
7. They offer unconditional love
As mentioned above, your furry friend doesn’t have the ability to judge you or anyone one else. They are loyal and loving and can cheer us up on even the lowest of days. They teach us how to be kind and open our hearts – as that is what they spend each and every day we have them doing to us.
There are so many benefits to owning a pet, it’s near impossible to list them all. But at the end of the day, sometimes all we need is the comfort of our pet to give us a cuddle, or to help us forget about life for a while and simply run and play in the sunshine. Pets really are incredible!