There are many benefits to animals for residing with us in our homes, but did you know that having a pet is also good for your health? Unconditional love and companionship in and of itself is accompanied by many benefits, but there are other reasons why owning a pet can give you a health boost! Mental and emotional improvements are just a couple of them -- check out the following five ways that owning a pet might be beneficial to your health. Some of them might surprise you!
1. Lower rates of depression. It might not come as a surprise that owning a pet increases a person’s sense of purpose. This can be integral for someone feeling depressed or who is lacking interest in their usual activities. Pet Therapy exists for a reason! Owning a pet might help you conquer depression and general feelings of being down.
2. Decreased risk of allergies. It might seem counterintuitive, but spending time with pets has been shown to lower a child’s risk of developing allergies. Other studies show that children exposed to pets early on in life tend to have more stealthy immune systems overall. Having healthier kids is always a win!
3. Higher social interaction. Did you know that there are meet-up groups geared towards pet parents of all different types of animals? Yes, even turtles. Getting out of the house to walk your dog or take him or her to the dog park also gives you more opportunities to interact with others. Humans are naturally social creatures, and a lot of people find that their social lives and networks naturally increase as a result of being a pet parent.
4. Increased physical activity. If you’re a dog owner, you’re more likely to get outside and throw a frisbee, go for a run, or even just take a walk around the neighborhood. The cardio boost will bring other benefits, such as increased heart health, lower blood pressure, and decreased cholesterol levels.
5. Lower stress levels. Having a sense of purpose combined with increased physical activity and social interaction can have some fantastic benefits, the main one being decreased stress levels! Lowering cortisol has a profound impact on your overall health and well-being.
What do you think, pet parents? Were you surprised by these benefits?
Jessica is an East Coast girl recently transplanted to Austin, Texas where she lives with her husband, their three human children, and their rescue fur baby. She is an OB Nurse Educator by background, but has worked as a freelance writer, content manager, and brand strategist for the past few years and loves every minute of it. You can follow her on her personal blog or Instagram profile.