From tiny to large, furry, feathery, and scaly, pets are a huge part of life. All with unique personalities, they portray in unique ways. One thing is for sure, and science agrees, pets can change our lives and benefit us in so many ways.
I’ve had pets my whole life up until this last year, and I wouldn’t trade the joy and memories they all brought me for anything. Being a pet owner has its difficulties, but for some reason they capture our heart, and we feel they are worth it.
Loveable companions, our pets give us many reasons to care about them. Getting a pet can improve your mental and physical health in so many ways. If you’ve been considering getting a pet, there are many reasons to. And, if you can’t have a pet, being around someone else’s will help you reap the benefits too.
“According to a survey of UK pet owners carried out in May 2021,
around 90% of dog owners stated that owning a pet made them mentally healthier.
Results were lower for cat and rabbit owners, at around 85 and 81%.”
Pets Can Greatly Improve Your Mental Health
Did you know that just petting, or stroking a pet can relax you, and ease anxiety and stress? Spending time with them releases feel-good endorphins that can calm you down and put you in a better mood. So next time you feel stressed, just put a little time into loving your pet and thank them for making you feel better.
Not only that, but pets relieve our feeling of isolation by keeping us company. Single pet owners have less loneliness and depression compared with non-pet owning singles. Pet owners interact with others by walking their dogs, taking training classes, joining pet clubs and online classes. Loneliness can have a huge impact on mental health, especially as we age.
Having a pet can counteract loneliness by having companionship that is unconditionally loving. Having a daily routine has been shown to greatly improve mental health. Having to walk a dog, or feed, play and be responsible for a pet helps us to have a daily routine. Caring and taking responsibility for something other than yourself, can help you establish enjoyable daily rituals with your pet, and benefit from the self-confidence that comes with knowing it really matters to them.
Pets Benefit Our Physical Wellbeing
A study conducted by AAHA (American Animal Hospital Association) found that over 90% of the pet owners surveyed were aware of the health benefits of pet ownership, and felt it clearly affected the quality of their daily lives. Some other important statistics include:
- 31% felt their physical fitness was improved
- 76% said their stress levels were reduced
- 65% thought their mental health had improved
Pets offer many physical benefits to their owner. One of the most obvious is that they provide you with companionship and love. Pets can also help you stay physically active – walking the dog, playing fetch, or going for a run with your dog are all great exercises. In addition, research has shown that owning a pet can improve your cardiovascular health by lowering blood pressure, cholesterol levels and preventing obesity.
So, if you’re looking for a way to improve your physical health, consider getting a pet! They just might be the best workout buddy or stress reliever you could ask for.
How to Decide on a Pet for You
Having a pet is a responsibility and requires a commitment, so be sure you’re up for it. Here are some things to consider before deciding what kind of pet you want:
- Large pets require a lot of space, so be sure there is plenty of room for your pet. They may need a back garden whereas a smaller dog or cat can be great for an apartment or flat.
- Pets take time to care for – if you are gone most of the day, or short on time, consider getting a bird, fish or a pet that doesn’t require a lot of attention
- Consider how your pet will fit in with your lifestyle and personality. If you’re active, walking a dog may be a great addition, but if you are quieter and less socially active, perhaps watching fish in a tank would suit you more.
- Consider the cost of owning a pet. Some pets require very little in the way of shelter, food, and vet bills. Owning a cat or dog costs significantly more over the span of their life.
- Other things to consider are caring for your pet. Dogs and cats can shed and need to be brushed and bathed regularly. Birds require their cage to be cleaned and may need their feathers clipped. If all that sounds like too much for you, an iguana or a snake might be a better pet for you.
Pets make us laugh, are great companions, and help us feel better all around. The mental and physical benefits of owning a pet can greatly enhance our lives. Adopting or bringing a pet into your home can profoundly change your life and theirs in the best possible way. Let us know about your pet, or if you are considering getting a pet in the comments below. We love to hear your pet stories.
Do you have any pets? How has having your pet changed your life? Or if you’re considering getting one, do you have any questions about which animal to go for? Ask fellow members below!