5 Health Benefits of Having a Pet

Have you ever heard that owning a pet makes you healthier? It’s true!

The antidote to relieving stress and living a happy life can come from having a four-legged companion that is ready to give you unconditional love. Studies have shown that pet owners are less likely to suffer from depression than those without pets. Let’s examine five ways that pets can improve your health.

 1 – A Sense of Purpose

Caring for a living thing can give you a sense of purpose. Because pets have to stick to a schedule, it will give you a structured routine. Instead of staying in bed all day long, you would have to get up in the mornings to take your dog out and feed them breakfast. If you have a cat, well, sleeping in isn’t an option when food is on the line. This pushes people to also care for themselves because they are already up and taking care of their pets and being productive.

2 – Goodbye Stress

You may not realize what is happening while playing with a dog or cat besides that you are having a good time and it’s making you happy. Interacting with an animal for five minutes lowers your levels of cortisol, aka, the stress hormone. When playing with your pet, it increases the release of oxytocin, which is a chemical in the body that naturally reduces stress. Serotonin and dopamine also get released while you play, helping relax your nervous system. The same thing happens to your pet when you play with them and it helps reduce their fear and anxiety.

3 – Easy Exercise

Dogs need to be taken out whether it’s for them to do their business outside or go for a walk. Getting outdoors can benefit you because you are able to receive vitamin D from the sun and get a break from being inside.  Not only are you benefitting from exercise, but so is your dog. Taking them out for a walk helps your dog bond with you and release some of their energy.

4 – Social Skills

According to experts at Harvard, having a dog can make you more social. This is because when you’re out on a walk with your dog, more people tend to stop you and talk about your dog. Taking your dog to the dog park also gives you a chance to be social with other pet parents while your dog is also being social and getting exercise. It gives you a connection with people when you talk about your dog while relieving social anxiety because it’s a common and easy topic to talk about.

Photo by: Lauren Neal Photography at BrewHound Dog Park + Bar

5 – Constant Companions

Because of the unconditional love that our pets give us on a daily basis, it helps diminish the feeling of being lonely because having a pet can satisfy the basic human need for touch. Pets do not judge you for having a bad day or doing silly little things.  Although our pets cannot speak back to us in a language we understand, they know how to show love.

Caring for an animal can do wonders for your self-esteem. These different kinds of benefits from owning a pet do not only come from having a dog or cat. People who have a fish or a hamster can have the same benefits. If you are not too sure about adopting a pet for yourself, fostering is always an option to help dip your toes in becoming a pet parent to a dog or cat.

Check out the pets waiting to meet you or sign up for our foster program!

If you have questions about adoptions, you can reach out to our team at any time.

 

Written by: Briana Svagdis

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