In the United States alone there are 86.4 million cats and 78.2 million dogs living as pets, according to the Humane Society of the United States. Why is this number so high? Because there are so many benefits that come along with pets, three of which I will be going over in this post. Let’s get started!
1. Pets make their owners happier!
All you have to do to get started is pet your pet (or maybe someone else’s…)! By just petting your pet your body releases endorphins, dopamine, oxytocin, and prolactin. For those of you who aren’t familiar with those words, they’re hormones and neurotransmitters that make you feel happier! So go out and pet some animals! Who cares if they’re yours!
Studies show that just thinking about your pet helps you overcome sadness after being rejected or socially isolated. Next time you’re feeling lonely and your dog or cat isn’t around, just think about them! This helps because our pets help distract us from sadness, when we’re with them and when we’re not.
Our furry companions are a great form of social support. They’re the friend that is always there for us, they always listen to what we say, and they never say anything hurtful. The friend everyone would like to have!
2. They make us healthier!
According to Harvard Health Publications, pet owners walk 30 minutes more a week than people without pets. Their research also showed that dogs are great exercise partners because they’re consistent and never negative. Dogs are always ecstatic about going on a walk, or run, with their owners. Plus, their wagging tail is pretty encouraging. The next time you’re looking for a workout partner, look no farther than your dog!
UC Davis reports that Alzheimer’s patients who have pets in the home suffer from less stress and fewer anxious outbreaks. Similar results were also achieved when the patients had a dog to pet. Petting the dog helped lower the Alzheimer’s patients aggressive behavior.
Here’s an interesting statistic: people over the age of 65 who own a pet, make fewer doctor visits than their counterparts without pets. Besides the fact they don’t have to spend as much time in the doctor’s office, that means a lot of saved money! The average visit to the doctor costs from $68-$234, depending on the type of appointment. Say thanks to your companion for saving you time and money at the doctor’s!
3. They’re great wingmen!
Dogs are great ways to meet new people, they provide an easy way for other people to talk to you. Whether you’re at a dog park or just walking your dog, people love to ask, “Oh, what kind of dog is that? She’s so cute!” Just like that you have someone new to talk to!
Going to dog parks also allows you to meet new people who might have similar interests as you. While your dog is playing you can find new people to talk to, and if you frequent the place, you can build long-lasting friendships. Go thank your dog!
Now that you know all that your pets do for you go give him/her a great big hug, and remember: that hug is making you happier and healthier!
Thank you for reading! Hopefully you like what you learned! Check out more great ways to be a healthier, happier person here: The Sweaty Secret to a Better Life, The Happy Secret to Happiness, and Why Gratitude Shouldn’t be Seasonal.