5 Surprising Perks to Pet Ownership

Our dogs and cats are like family. Not only do they provide us with endless entertainment, but they love us unconditionally – when we’re sad or angry or even when we’re having a bad hair day. They keep us laughing, keep us company, and certainly keep us on our toes. We already know that pets enrich our lives and bring us joy, but there are many other benefits to pet ownership that you may not have realized (as if you needed another reason to love your furry friends.)
1.) Improved Social Life
Animals are an instant icebreaker! Owning a pet can lead to simple but direct interactions (think puppy classes, dog parks, outdoor cafes.) According to USA today, studies show that pet owners scored higher than non-pet owners in gaining trust, making connections and helping out their neighbors!
2.) Battle Loneliness
We all experience loneliness at some point in our lives. Separation, divorce, and death of a loved one are among the many experiences in life that cause us to feel sad or alone. Our pets help us get through those hard times. Having a companion to care for gives us a sense of purpose. What’s more, being with our pets encourages production of higher levels of endorphins and dopamine (our body’s natural stress reducers.)
3.) Get More Exercise!
Our pets need exercise! Whether chasing the cat away from your houseplants or going for a jog with the dog, pets motivate us to be more active. Did you know that dog owners walk almost twice as much in a week than non-dog owners? In a study conducted by the National Institute of Health, dog owners responsible for walking their pups are less likely to be obese.
4.) Prevent Allergies?!
Yes! According to WebMD, the more time children spend around pets, the greater their chance of avoiding pet allergies as an adult. Children exposed to animals early on even tend to develop stronger immune systems. Who knew?
5.) Our Pets Truly Are Lifesavers!
According to the American Heart Association, pet ownership is associated with decreased risk of heart disease! Spending time with Fluffy or Fido can help lower blood pressures and lessen stress. Dogs and cats have even shown the ability to detect illness in humans. Some animals can sense a seizure before it happens. And there are dogs that have been trained to detect cancer!