Pet owners are some of the luckiest people in the world.
Not only are their lives filled with unconditional love and support, but there are also some really cool health benefits associated with owning a pet.
Here are nine benefits that we believe improve the daily lives of all pet owners (and will have non-pet owners running to the closest shelter)
A study was conducted by the University of Wisconsin-Madison, by a paediatrician named James E. Gern, who linked allergies with pet ownership.
Gern found that a child’s likelihood of developing certain types of allergies was reduced by approximately 33%, because their immune system was strengthened by owning pets.
Decreased Stress Levels
Promises Treatment Centre is an institution that specialises in addiction.
Promises recommends their patients to adopt a pet, and even allows them into their facility, because they believe that pets are linked with decreased stress levels.
And it makes sense, because if you are feeling anxious or stressed, the love and emotional comfort and support you receive from your pet instinctively makes you feel better.
Increased Social Skills
Having a pet means that you communicate and connect with a larger variety of individuals.
For example, if you have ever walked a dog, you would understand the relationships you 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 pets 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.
Lowers your 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.
In particular, elderly people who suffer from dementia or depression, benefit from having a pet, with stronger cognition levels being noticeable even after a short period of time.
Keeps us Present
Pets remind us to live in the present 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 happier life.