Having a pet can have numerous positive effects on humans. Apart from their cuddle factor that many of us are moved by, the benefits of having a pet are many. Pets are known to bring significant change to your physical and mental health. If you haven’t opened up your home to a pet yet, here are some reasons why you should.
#1. Pets make good friends
Pets, especially dogs, are known to love unconditionally. They make good listeners, they’ll accompany you everywhere, and serve as constant reminders to live in the present. They don’t dwell on the past, nor do they demand anything from you but love. They can sense your emotions and be by your side. Plus, pet cuddles can cheer up and put anybody in a good mood.
#2. Pets help fight allergies
Studies have shown that growing up with a pet in the house decreases your chances of developing allergies. Children who are exposed to animals tend to have stronger immune systems.
#3. Pets reduce chances of stroke and cardiovascular diseases
Statistics show that having a cat at home makes you 30% less likely to suffer from a stroke or other cardiovascular diseases. People who own pets have decreased cholesterol, blood pressure, and triglyceride levels compared to others who don’t. These reduced levels are indicators of your minimized risk of having a cardiac arrest as you grow older.
#4. Pets help raise the responsibility of adults and kids
Having a pet means keeping check on somebody else other than you. Dogs need to be taken out for walks and a cat’s litter box need to be cleaned every day. These are responsibilities that all pet owners have to take up. If you have a kid at home, having an animal companion can increase his/her sense of responsibility. Kids are capable of running small errands, and habits such as taking responsibility for the pet can be inculcated into their daily lives from a young age. Not only will it help them bond with the pet, but also makes them better individuals.
#5. Pets keep you active
Having a pet at home will have you following a healthy routine. Feeding and playing with them keeps you alert and active. Taking dogs out for walks, chasing your cat, or going horseback riding are activities that guarantee you getting at least some exercise. It is not easy to succumb to laziness when you have a pet around. They keep you physically engaged and mentally stimulated, lowering risks of Alzheimer’s disease and other diseases associated with aging.
#6. Pets provide comfort
When you have a pet at home, it is difficult to stay cooped up inside your house. Inevitably, you will have to step out of your house with them at least once a day. This can be seen as a time-out from your busy schedule. Animal companions also stick by your side through thick and thin. While the relationship between humans is unpredictable, pets are bound to love you no matter what, and provide comfort whenever you are around.
#7. Pets help you deal with stress
Having a pet around improves your overall mood. Pets give their owners a sense of purpose, especially to those who are depressed or stressed. They provide companionship to people who are lonely, thereby increasing their happiness levels. Studies show that playing with your pet elevates the levels of serotonin and dopamine, the two neurotransmitters that are associated with happiness. Stroking your animal companion or just watching them take a nap will help you relax and concentrate better on other aspects of life.
#8. Pets increase your opportunities to socialize
A dog lover has hit it off with another dog lover on more than one occasion. Talking about your pets can be an interesting topic of conversation for pet-lovers in general. Pet caretakers will find that their paths frequently cross with other pet caretakers. Whether it is at the vet, the dog training classes, or at the park where you are out on a walk with you dog, interactions between pet owners are bound to happen, improving your opportunities to socialize. Animal companions have been found to act as facilitators in creating and maintaining relationships, especially in the case of kids who struggle to make friends with others. They develop a close bond with their pets first, and then learn to connect with humans.
#9. Pets can be good service animals
A service dog is a specially trained dog which accompanies and performs tasks for people with disability. If trained properly, they fetch objects, opens doors, and alert others in case of danger. Animal-assisted Therapy or Pet-facilitated Therapy are employed by many hospitals and facilities.
#9. Pets are good sources of entertainment
Ever wondered how you don’t notice the hours going by while you watch your dog play with its favorite chew toy? Same goes with cats and all other pets that goof around and give us all a hearty laugh!
Lastly, if you choose to open your doors to one pet, get two instead. So that your animal companion also has an animal companion when you are away.
Featured image courtesy of Borja Rius.
Which are the animals you tend to see on the roads in your country? Read Animals on the Indian Roads and comment to let us know if we missed any.