Owning a furry companion can have many positive effects on your life. Not only do you get to live with a friend, but there are also a some hidden benefits to keeping a pet in your home. Here are ten reasons why having a pet is great for your mind, body and soul.
1. They help you form relationships
An often overlooked side effect of having a pet is that you’ll always have something to talk about with other people. Having a pet allows you to connect with other animal lovers. Even if you and the person you’re talking to can’t agree on anything else, you can at least find common ground regarding Fido. The two of you might even be able to exchange advice about the best pet foods and training techniques.
2. They improve your health
Having a pet can help you reach your health-related goals. Whether it’s walking your dog or getting some cardio in by scrubbing away those unavoidable pet stains, keeping up with your furry friend will ensure you get some daily exercise.
3. They help fight off allergies
This one might seem totally backwards, but it’s true. Despite the television commercials where pet owners break out into uncontrollable sneezing any time their cat or dog walks in the room, pets can actually help combat allergies. Children who are exposed to pet dander or any other animal allergens typically develop stronger immune systems. Even an adult’s immune system will become stronger after having been exposed to animal allergens for a certain period, and become capable of resisting other irritants.
4. They increase bone and heart strength
These are some of the additional health perks that come with having a pet: quicker recovery from heart issues, lowered blood pressure and even an overall lower possibility of heart attacks. Taking your dog (or cat) for a daily walk in the sunshine can improve your bone strength through exposure to vitamin D.
5. They elevate your mood
Let’s face it, there’s going to be a day when going outside seems like an impossible feat. So what’s better than having a live-in comfort provider? Studies have shown that having pets available for affection and attention can help boost your mood.
6. They are great for all ages
Children exposed to pets have reduced chances of developing breathing conditions and skin disorders, such as asthma and eczema. The process is similar to how children can develop resistances to certain allergens. But it’s not just kids that benefit. Having a pet around can make the elderly feel less lonely. And for those suffering through Alzheimer’s, a pet’s warm presence can lead to fewer anxiety attacks.
7. They make excellent aids for medical support groups
Groups like Animal-Assisted Therapy (AAT) or Pet Facilitated-Therapy provide pets to hospital patients in order to elevate moods, thereby aiding in the recovery process.
8. They might not be able to speak, but they hear you loud and clear
Obviously, our pets don’t speak our languages, but they are quite aware of their owners’ emotional needs. Many people find that having a close bond with their pet provides them with an added sense of purpose, and centers them emotionally.
9. They act as warning signals for serious health conditions
One thing many pet owners don’t know is that dogs can recognize the warning signs of a handful of diseases. Some dogs can detect when a person is about to have an epileptic seizure. Others can smell cancers in their owners. Still, other dogs have even been taught to notice signs of Parkinson’s disease or diabetes, and alert their owners accordingly.
10. They provide unconditional love and friendship
One of the best perks of pet ownership is having a warm companion to come home to day after day. You will always have a walking buddy or snuggle buddy on hand when you need them.