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How Owning a Pet Improves Your Health

How Owning a Pet Improves Your Health

Improve your well-being while caring for your companion.

We all know there’s no experience quite like owning a pet. It keeps you on your toes, changes your lifestyle, and gives you something to look forward to when coming home. While our pets are busy enjoying life thanks to a loving home, did you know that it’s a scientific fact that taking care of them also benefits us in return? Through benefits to our emotional and physical health, caring for a dog, cat, or other animals can drastically improve our sense of well-being.

Many studies have shown that pet ownership is an amazing way to reduce stress, anxiety and help prevent depression. These can be attributed to the consistent companionship and love provided throughout the relationship. Even if your pet is not cuddly by nature, having that strong bond within your life is highly important to our outlook and emotions. As that bond is formed, we also gain an increase in dopamine and serotonin, hormones that improve our mood and encourage relaxation, by interacting with or even just seeing our pets.

Alongside these benefits to our nervous system, our cardiovascular and immune systems also see benefits from having a pet in our lives. Comparative studies, such as this collection of research curated by Pet Positives, have shown the evidence of a lower risk of heart disease, hypertension, and even cholesterol levels. People who have consistently owned pets have shown to be healthier – and happier – in the long run. Regardless of the specific animal you choose as your companion, spending your days with any pet will promote significant improvements to your everyday life.

If your pet goes for walks outside of the home, taking them out also gets us into the great outdoors on a regular basis and provides manageable, consistent exercise for the whole family. Creating a workout routine for yourself by incorporating your pet’s exercise needs into your schedule will have both of you feeling tremendous. Walking your pet is also a great way to socialise with other humans (and pets), and this social interaction further encourages serotonin to be released by our central nervous system.

An integral aspect of our wellness is finding the motivation to maintain self-care. This practice includes proper nourishment, taking time away from work, and a healthy sleep routine. Pet ownership has proven to be an invaluable motivator for beginning the day on a productive note, which sets us up for further success. By completing these initial tasks, whether it’s feeding your fish or filling up your cat’s water, the most challenging part of initiating self-care (getting out of bed) has already been completed, thus preparing you to take on the day.

For all pets big and small, high maintenance or self-sufficient, taking care of them provides many incredible benefits. Our mental, emotional, and physical health form the fundamentals of a positive daily experience, and owning a pet has proven to benefit our minds and bodies in a wide variety of ways. While the life of a pet owner can be crazy at times, the experience for both you and your pet is truly rewarding.

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