The Benefits of Owning a Pet

The Benefits of Owning a Pet

Caring for a pet can be a wonderful thing to be a part of. Not only are you helping them out by giving them a place to stay, and a loving family, but did you know that they could help you out as well?

Pets can be beneficial to ones health and social life. Let's look at some of the benefits of having a furry friend (or feathery, scaley, or...exoskeletony...)!

1. They can help inprove your social life

Having trouble meeting people? How about getting a dog to help you socialize? Owning a pet can help break the ice, and could be an instant topic for conversation. Of course, many people would refrain from getting a pet solely for this purpose, as it could been seen as selfish, but this is one of the many benefits when you own a pet.

There are plenty of places to go to mix and mingle with your furry friend:

Training classes: Have a new puppy that needs a little help being trained? Take him or her to a class. You'll meet people who are on the same boat as you.

Parks: Of course, some parks don't allow pets, but if they are allowed to come with you, take your pet to a dog park. Your dog will be able to mingle and so will you.

Cafes: Many cafes will allow you to bring your dog with you, and even offer pet-friendly foods on the menu.

Online: http://www.dogster.com/, http://www.catster.com/ and sites similar to this allow you to find tips and tricks for your furry friend.

2. They're good for your heart

Of course, pets could teach us compassion and empathy, but did you know they could actually improve the overall health of that organ as well?

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the National Institute for Health (NIH) both conducted experiments on people who own pets. Their studies show that people who have bonds with their pets have deacreased blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels, which are all factors in a heart attack. For people who have already experieced a heart attack, people with an animal compainion have higher recovery rates. Overall, a pet can lower your stess rates and help you relax.

3. They can help you get fit

Besides all the internal benefits, they can help you get active too. Walking a dog is a daily chore that could also be good for you. It can help you get the exercise you and Fido need to stay fit and healthy. Think of your dog as your personal trainer.

According to studies conducted by Wellness Institute at Northwest Memorial Hospital, as long as you're holding the leash and walking your dog, they can help you maintain, and even lose weight, along with lowering your stress levels, which can also be a factor in being overweight.

4. They can ward off feelings of depression

Owning a pet can keep you happy. Like babies, pets can give you a sense of purpose, which is one of the most common reasons for feeling depressed. Along with this, pets can provide you with companionship, which can make you feel happy and lower your stress levels. These effects are most commonly seen with the elderly and sick, which are sommonly asscioated with Animal-Assisted Therapy (AAT) or Pet-Facilited Therapy (PFT) Many hospitals and nursing homes used this as a form of therapy, helping patients feel more comfortable throughtout their ordeals.



5. They can fight allergies

This seems a little backwards, as some people can't own pets because of the allergies that come from the animals fur. An experiment conducted by the University of Wisconsin concluded that being exposed to an animal could lower a child's risk of developing allergies later on in life by as much as 33 percent, while also stregthening their immune systems. This isn't really much of a concern, as there are medicines to treat allergies, but it's just an added bonus to owning a furry friend.

If you’ve been deciding whether to add a pet to your home, take these added benefits to mind. While pets can be costly and are a huge responsibily, the added perks of caring for a furry friend make up for the cons. While you're doing them a favor, they are giving back by making you a happier and healthier person.


Sources:

Grace Mccandless, Sarah "Top 5 Health Benefits of Owning a Pet" Animal Planet N/A http://www.animalplanet.com/pets/benefits-of-pets/

Anderson, Prof. Robert K. "The Changing Status of Animals and Human-Animal Bonds." CENSHARE -- The University of Minnestoa. 02/09/2010. http://www.censhare.umn.edu/spotlight02.html

Gern, Dr. James E. "Effects of dog ownership and genotype on immune development and atopy in infancy." Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. 02/11/2004.

Hodai, Beau. "Study: Dogs improve health of their human companions." 01/23/2007. http://www.naturalnews.com/021483.html

Homans, John. "The Rise of Dog Identity Politics." New York Magazine. 02/01/2010. http://nymag.com/news/features/63232/

McCartney, Dr. Jennifer. "Vet Talk: Health Benefits of Pet Ownership." 02/16/2009. http://www.yorknewstimes.com/articles/2009/02/16/news/doc499863da54963000243651.text

McMahon, Kevin R. "Nursing home therapy dogs: courage givers, door openers and conversation starters." McKnight's Longterm Care News & Assisted Living. 05/11/2009. http://www.mcknights.com/nursing-home-therapy-dogs-courage-givers-door-openers-and-conversation-starters/article/136533/

Mood Letter. "Pets and Mental Wellness." 02/09/2010. http://www.oflikeminds.com/PetsandMentalHealth.htm

Murray, Jill Sherer. "How Your Dog Can Help You Find Love." Webvet. 08/01/2009. http://www.webvet.com/main/article?id=1347

National Institute of Health. "Can Pets Keep You Healthy? Exploring the Human-Animal Bond." 02/2009. http://newsinhealth.nih.gov/2009/February/feature1.htm

Saloman, Laurie. "Can a Pet Help You Defeat Depression?" Quality Health. 04/06/2009. http://www.qualityhealth.com/depression-articles/pet-help-you-defeat-depression

"Benefits of Owning a Pet" Hope For Pets http://www.hopeforpets.org/Benefits%20of%20Owning%20a%20Pet.htm

Pagila, Chloe "The Psychological Benefits of Owning a Pet" Zing! ByQuickenLoans. 9/9/13 http://www.quickenloans.com/blog/benefits-owning-pet


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  • i love m dogs <3

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  • Agreed 100%. all pets act silly and funny. My kitteh lily always cracks me up when she's in hyper mode and running around all over the house. XD

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  • I don't know what I'd do without my boys and little girl.
    They all have completely different personalities but love them all the same.
    I'm taking one to a local elementary school to do a presentation on how to greet a dog. Since there are so many dogs that are put down due to children thinking its okay to hug dogs. Or poke their buttholes (I'm not sure why, but I've seen a lot do that lol).
    They are a blessing as long as you know what you are getting into before you get one.

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  • Yeah having my dogs and cats around me really do encourage me to keep moving. They help me sleep at night and make me forget negative feelings.

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  • Agree!! My cat is one of the best things that's happened to me in recent years. Through broken friendships, relationships, the craziness in life, he's been there like a trooper and a better friend than most people I have been friends with. Not that I don't have friends, but the ones that are there for me 100% I can count on one hand.

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  • True, pets can be beneficial to the owner. But don't forget the most important thing: they are a huge responsibility and they can be expensive. A pet owner always has to have extra funds for the vet and has to take out at least an hour a day to play with their pet. They cannot just go on vacation either, without making sure their pet has care.

    For dogs, there needs to be time for 4 walks a day of at least 15 minutes. Any less than that and the dog will be seriously suffering. It will also get bowel problems later from having to hold in his pee constantly.

    Don't get a pet unless you have time, money and are willing to take care of them.

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    • You're right, I was going to mention thee but I forgot. /)_< Lol. :)

    • Actually I have multiple cats, they really aren't that expensive at all. As for the time, I spend too much of it being sad... They cheer me up every time :) It's not so much of only taking care of them, because they take care of me too <3

    • Cats are a different story. They are largely independent. Rodents and dogs however need a lot of care. And you just don't know what you'll get. My dog has a very irritable stomach and constantly needs pills, but others who have the same breed don't go to the vet much. So it's risky.

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