They say no home is complete without a pet and while most people would admit it’s nice to have a cute, furry friend, they might be stumped if you were to ask them exactly what benefits owning a pet has to offer. The truth is; pets are so much more valuable to a person’s life than we give them credit for and there are a number of reasons why a household with a resident animal can be a much happier one.
Walking your dog, riding your horse or just playing with a boisterous kitten are all ways of keeping active without hitting the gym. The serotonin and dopamine – natural chemicals found in the body – that are released upon interaction with a pet are known to relax muscles, reduce blood pressure and alleviate the physical symptoms of stress such as headaches, tension and increased heart rate for both the animal and its owner, meaning having a pet really can make you a healthier person.
Pet owners are less susceptible to the effects of depression due to the constant friendship and routine they can bring to home life. The slow, comforting and repetitive action of stroking a cat or dog is known to lower anxiety levels, while even marvelling at the beauty of fish as they swim in their aquarium can help to soothe and relax the mind. The reduced levels of stress therefore benefit your mental health as much as your physical health, meaning that owning a pet really can also make you a happier person.
It is no secret that many children’s first and most beloved friend is their pet. Owning one can teach them all about how to be gentle, communicate and interact with others, while also giving them responsibility if they are tasked with walking, feeding and caring for them on a day-to-day basis. A non-judgmental ear to confide in during difficult times and a loyal friend when it feels like no one else understands; pets are often a rock to keep us strong during our early development. Even when considering the worst case scenario, owning pets during our childhood can teach us the all-important lesson of how to deal with death and bereavement of those we hold dearest.
It’s a proven fact that many elderly people with pets outlive those without, not just because of the aforementioned benefits to both physical and mental wellbeing but because of the companionship they offer. At a time in your life when it’s all too easy to feel alone and secluded from the rest of the world, an animal can be the perfect company to keep your spirits up. As many as a quarter of people have even said they think of their pet more like a child than they do an animal, showing just how valuable the relationship between owner and pet can be. The mutual love of pets is also a great way to meet other people; say, fellow dog walkers in the local park for example.
Ease of care
The simple fact is that most animals are far less high maintenance than us humans. Man’s best friend for example will give you unconditional love in return for some good, nutritious dog food, plenty of exercise and some attention from their beloved owner. With the abundance of benefits to both health and happiness they bring to our lives, it seems like more than a fair deal.