The Health Benefits of Owning a Pet
If you have a pet in your household, you will likely notice an overall improvement to your mood and wellbeing as a result. Afterall, you have this cute, adorable little living thing that is always so happy to see you when you come home after a long, stressful day at work. When your dog comes running to the door to greet you, or your bearded dragon flashes his pearly whites because he knows it's dinner time, all of your problems can seem a million miles away.
8 Undeniable Health Benefits of Owning a Pet
#1 Pets Reduce Stress
Studies have actually proven that having a pet can reduce stress. It makes perfect sense to us. Afterall, pets are companions that are with you through thick and thin. Pets are always happy to see you, and will never argue or disagree with you. Some researchers have even gone as far as to state that some animals are able to detect when you are feeling stressed, and will come and make a fuss of you as a result.
#2 Pets Can Reduce Your Blood Pressure
On a related note to lowering your stress levels, pets can also reduce your blood pressure. If you come home from work feeling furious that Sheila in Marketing has stolen your thunder at the weekly project meeting once again, and you want to punch holes in your walls like the incredible Hulk, we are sure that all of that will go away once you’ve sat and stroked your bearded dragon.
#3 Having Pets Promotes Social Skills
All this time you thought that those people that have long, one-sided conversations with their cats were crazy. However in actual fact, they could be true social butterflies! Studies have shown that having pets helps people to build and develop stronger relationships. Research conducted by PLoS Onein 2015 discovered that pet owners were more likely than non pet owners to introduce themselves to a neighbour they had never met before!
#4 Pets Give You a Sense of Purpose
If you are someone that has struggled in any way with problems that have affected your mental and emotional health then having a pet around can really help you. Having a little creature that is completely dependent on you to feed it and take care of it can give you a reason to get up in the morning when you are feeling down.
In a similar way to being with a loving partner or surrounded by friends provides you with companionship, so too does having a pet in your household.
#5 Having a Pet Forces You to Be More Active
Dependent somewhat on the type of pet that you choose, opting to have a pet in your household can act as a source of exercise to get you moving and out and about more. If you buy a dog, you’ll be running around in the park with it playing frisbee. Alternatively if you have a bearded dragon, you can have fun creating a little assault course for it. Bearded dragons love to exercise by running and jumping around. You can also buy a little lead for your beardie and take it for a stroll - who said that walks in the park were restricted to dog owners?
#6 Pet Owners Have Better Overall Heart Health
A reduction in blood pressure as a result of having a pet is one thing, but it is believed that pet owners also have better overall heart health. Based on research conducted by the American Heart Association, pet ownership is associated with lower risks of having high cholesterol, a lower risk of being overweight or obese, and less stress - as if you needed any more reasons to consider having one!
#7 Pets Can Ease Chronic Pain
It sounds like an old wives tale, sure, however there are several reports of instances where having a pet has actually eased the chronic pain of someone suffering with a long term disease - directly or indirectly. Through participating in agility and obedience training with your pet, you can learn to communicate better with your pet through hand signals and verbal instructions. Imagine if you were suffering with sciatica and a bad back and your pet just knew to pick up the keys that you had dropped to save you from bending down and hurting yourself. Perfect, eh?
#8 Pets Prevent Allergies and Improve the Immune System
You may typically associate having pets (especially those with hair like cats or dogs) with coughing, spluttering and sneezing. You may believe that having pets in your home can be the cause of allergies, but in actual fact, pets can prevent you from getting any allergies in the first place. Being around animals, especially from a young age helps you to build up your immune system and tolerance of different bacteria. It’s a relatively well known fact that if you are overzealous in protecting your children from germs and illnesses by being hyper clean, you really are doing them a disservice since this makes them more susceptible to sickness if they ever docome into contact with germs. Having pets in the home makes your little ones stronger and more prepared to battle the dreaded cold and flu season.