Having a pet will bring you untold joy – but it’s not just the owning of a pet and enjoying their company that is a reason to have an animal in the house. There are ways that being a pet owner can actually improve your quality of life.
Studies show that simply having contact with a furry companion can reduce stress levels. It produces a calming effect and, as a bonus, some animals (cats and dogs, in particular) are perceptive in this area; they know when their owner is feeling anxious. When that happens, they want to come closer to you. Although we don’t know exactly how and why they can do this (it could be to do with chemical changes in the stressed human’s body), it’s a very useful way to keep everyone calm. Lower stress levels lead to better health too.
Lower Blood Pressure
As well as lowering stress levels, being around animals can also lower our blood pressure. Simply brushing or stroking a pet is enough to lift your mood and keep your blood pressure at a safe level. Of course, a pet shouldn’t be the only way to deal with high blood pressure (exercise and a healthy diet help too), but it doesn’t hurt.
Having a pet that needs regular exercise means that you are getting that exercise too. The first pet that will spring to mind is a dog; they need walking at least once a day, and more if possible, and walking is fantastic low impact exercise. However, even playing with your cat or cleaning out a hamster’s cage is a form of exercise if you do it right. Be careful not to overdo it, though; small animals can become unwell or sustain injuries if you push them too hard. It’s always useful to make an online search for a ‘vet near me’ so you know where your nearest vet is just in case.
Although popular belief says otherwise, owning a pet does not mean you will be more open to allergies. Studies show that being exposed to a pet early on can reduce your chances of having animal-related allergies when you are older. So if you have children, getting a pet can actually make them potentially healthier adults. It also helps them to be responsible and caring, so there are many advantages for all the family that can be gained from owning a pet.
Pets are also a good reason to socialise. Not everyone is a natural extrovert who is happy to chat to people and who makes friends easily. Having a pet will give you something in common with others, and this can open up communication channels. Something simple like walking your dog will put you in contact with like-minded people. Having friends to talk to decreases feelings of loneliness and depression. Even if you still prefer not to talk to other humans, having a pet around the house means you’re not alone, so those lonely feelings can still be banished.