As pet owners, we know how much our furry friends mean to us and improve the quality of our lives. But really, the benefits of being a pet owner is about so much more than unconditional love. In fact, pets actually improve our physical health as well as our emotional health. They can do so much for us, including decrease depression, stress, and anxiety, as well as help lower blood pressure, improve overall immunity, and even decrease the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Of course, the benefits don’t stop there! Here are just some of the amazing ways our pets improve our well-being:
- Improves Mood – People who own pets tend to be less bothered, in general, and laugh more. And, it’s easy to understand why, as most pet owners have felt those rewarding, warm feelings when they come home every day. To your pets, you’re a rock star! You just can’t help but smile when you see their sweet, furry faces.
- Decreases Stress & Anxiety – Studies have actually shown that when people have to conduct a stressful task, they experience less stress when their pets are with them. Having pets nearby is even beneficial to those dealing with addictions or coming out of rehabilitation centers.
- Lowers Blood Pressure – In addition to lowering stress, having pets can also lower blood pressure. This is especially beneficial to those who are hypertensive or high-risk. No matter what challenges you may encounter, just knowing that your pet is by your side, providing unconditional love, really helps keep levels in check.
- Eases Pain – This one is often surprising, but pets really are the best medicine to help ease pain and chronic conditions. They help ease pain because they also help reduce the anxiety that comes with pain.
- Lowers Cholesterol – Pet ownership is also capable of lowering cholesterol, as the CDC has found that men in particular have significantly lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels than those who don’t have pets. It is presumed that this is mostly due to the fact that pet owners tend to be more active.
- Prevents Strokes – Both cats and dogs are good for reducing the likelihood of both heart attacks and strokes. What’s more is that they are a great recovery aid for those who have suffered from these cardiovascular incidents.
- Improves Immunity – Pets can dramatically improve immunity and even prevent allergies. In fact, the more pets you have earlier in life, the fewer allergies you’ll actually develop later in life. This is due to the exposure to dander from animal hair which is a natural immunotherapy.
- Detects Sugar Levels – Believe it or not, dogs (and some cats) can actually detect changes in blood sugar levels for diabetics. They will change their behavior when their owner’s blood sugar levels drop, as they detect changes in your chemistry, so they make great companions.
- Improves Socialization – Owning a pet, a dog in particular, increases the opportunity to socialize, as they go for walks, go to parks, etc. where you get to meet new people and other pets. Pet owners generally just tend to be more socially engaged than non-pet owners.
There’s nothing that compares to the incredible, unconditional love of a pet. But, if we had to ask for something more, it sure doesn’t hurt that they also provide so many unbelievable health benefits that contribute to our overall well-being.