Pet owners are some of the luckiest people in the world.
Not only do their pets provide them with unconditional love and support, but there are also some really cool health benefits associated with owning a pet. We have listed nine below!
A study was conducted by a paediatrician named James E. Gern from the University of Wisconsin-Madison who linked allergies with pet ownership. Gern found that a child’s likelihood of developing certain types of allergies was reduced by approximately 33% simply because their immune system was strengthened by owning one or multiple pets.
Lots of institutions and aged-care facilities recommend their patients to adopt a pet because they believe that pets are linked with decreased stress and anxiety levels. The love and emotional support and comfort you receive from a pet can be very beneficial for people in need.
INCREASED SOCIAL SKILLS
Having a pet means that you communicate and connect with a larger group of individuals.
If you have ever walked a dog, you would understand the relationships you can quickly build with fellow pet owners. This not only builds your social skills but helps you talk to a wider variety of people, making you more extraverted, conversational, confident and less judgemental. And pets are always a great conversation starter!
KEEPS YOU ACTIVE
You have a responsibility to ensure that your pet get enough exercise, and this means walking them or taking them for runs on a regular basis. Having a pet can increase your fitness levels, and even allows you to experience different types of exercises, for example Doga.
LOWERED BLOOD PRESSURE
According to veterinary consultant Marty Becker from the Centre of Disease Control and Prevention, “if you have a dog around, your blood pressure is lower”. This is because blood pressure is linked with stress, which means that people who are at high risk of high blood pressure will benefit from owning a pet.
REDUCED RISK OF A HEART ATTACK
To all of our feline owners out there, it turns out there are heaps of health benefits associated with cat ownership as well! Owning a cat can reduce the risk of a heart attack by 30% and reduce your chances of a stroke by 40%.
Dr. Becker further states that “if you have a heart attack and you have a dog, you are more likely to be alive a year later”.
The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology conducted a study in 2011 and concluded that pet owners were overall more self-confident and resilient. They were also more capable of maintaining a longer lasting healthy relationship and were recorded as being more extraverted, and up for a challenge. Compared to non-pet owners, pet owners were also generally less lonely.
COMPANIONSHIP DURING HARDSHIP OR ILLNESS
Several studies have been conducted highlighting how pets improve peoples overall quality of life. Stronger cognition levels are noticeable even after a short period of time of caring for an animal, especially in elderly citizens, because of the love, affection and companionship pets provide.
KEEPS YOU PRESENT
Pets remind us to live in the moment and not to worry about the future. As human beings in a modern technological society, we can often become victims of our own minds, and the stress and anxiety we create for ourselves. Our pets, in contrast, are present beings, focused on the now, which can help humans become more centred, less stressed and live a happier and healthier life!