Health Benefits of Owning a Pet
When we talk about health benefits, we usually refer, and look to, certain foods which can help lower blood sugar levels, reduce inflammation and control metabolism. However, there are exterior factors to look at, and that may come in the form of a little fluffy bundle of joy. Owning a pet is said to have many health benefits, not just for you but for the pet itself – especially for those animals in shelters, or those who have been abandoned. Giving a pet a second chance can, in fact, be an even greater source of fulfilment.
To keep everyone healthy, and help give some animals a loving home, we’ve listed the top health benefits of owning a pet:
Pets, be they a dog, cat or even a guinea pig, have been found to have beneficial effects on both our physical and mental states. With dogs, the benefits seem to be more known-about, as simply taking your dog out to walk every day introduces the health benefit of exercise to the owner. Whilst it may not be the norm to take your cat or hamster for a stroll, it doesn’t mean that they don’t bring with them other benefits associated with owning a pet.
Love and Companionship
Pets offer companionship, love and acceptance to owners that are believed to reduce stress and anxiety as well as create feelings of acceptance. They help fill voids where loneliness falls, and pets will not criticise or argue with you. It is not unheard of for individuals to own emotional support animals as a source of comfort. In fact, as a result, owning a pet may lead to more independence.
Research shows that interacting with pets or animals releases the hormones serotonin and dopamine in the brain, and so lower stress as well as heart rate. The human-animal bond is a strong one and has the potential to be of great good for either party. In turn, the wave effects of stress relief can lower blood pressure, and lower cholesterol.
Learning and Play
Pets can also teach children, or help expecting parents, to learn about caretaking and responsibility. For the stressed out, busy adult, they also allow time for play in one’s life, which itself can also help reduce stress and keep you young at heart. It is, after all, in its role as a pet, that the dog is considered man’s best friends – and its because of these very reasons.
Choosing a Pet and Alternatives
If you suffer from allergies, and maybe a fluffy friend isn’t the best choice for you, research has found that you don’t need a pet with four legs and a tail to experience the health benefits. Something as small as a fish has been found to ease stress. In fact, it is not unusual to find aquariums in public spaces, as they are believed to relieve stress and be soothing. So whatever pet you get, make sure they’re the right fit for you and don’t end up causing more stress for you, or your pet. With a range of animals having health benefits anyway, its better to choose carefully, taking into consideration living space, allergies, work schedule, travel and lifestyle.