We all know that our pets make our lives better. They offer us companionship, bring us joy, and give us all the love stored in their tiny bodies. Ask any pet owner, and they’ll tell you that there are clear benefits to having a furry (or scaley or feathered) friend. However, there are also many ways in which our pets make our lives better that we don’t even notice. For instance, pets can reduce the effects of depression, anxiety, and stress. Some pets can even improve cardiovascular health. We like to think that we’re the ones taking care of our pets, but it turns out they’re taking care of us in return!
One of the most significant benefits of having a pet is the companionship that they offer. Loneliness can have serious mental repercussions in humans, leading to depression and even shortening our lifespan. Even just having a pet to come home to can improve a person’s mental health. Our animal companions give us purpose, creating a routine of meeting needs like feeding and exercise would help people suffering from depression who need motivation.
Another great thing about our pets is that they love us without judgment. They don’t care if we got a bad grade at school or made a mistake at work, so long as we can pet them and give them treats at the end of the day. This quality is excellent for easing anxiety, as our pets provide a consistent positive presence. They can even relieve the stress of meeting new people, providing an immediate source of shared interest with other pet owners.
This one is a bit more obvious, but owning a pet like a dog that needs frequent exercise also encourages their owners to get more active; simply taking your dog on a walk once a day can improve your physical health. Pets are the best work out companions because they’re always excited for walks no matter what time it is. Regular physical exercise can also have mental benefits, such as reducing symptoms of depression. If you don’t have a dog, don’t worry; with the proper training and harness, your cat can love walks just as much!
The physical health benefits of being a pet owner don’t just end with exercise. Owning a pet has been proven to reduce blood pressure, even in people experiencing borderline hypertension. So, next time you’re in a stressful situation and your blood pressure stays lower than everyone around you, make sure to give your pet an extra treat when you get home as a reward.