According to a 2021-2022 National Pet Survey 70 percent of US households or 90.5 million families own a pet. Pet ownership is increasing. Only 56 percent of households had a pet in 1988. And this is a good thing because pets can improve the health of their owners.
Health Benefits Of Pet Ownership:
Pets Improve Mental Health.
Pets provide unconditional love. They are happy to greet you when you come home (dogs mostly). It is human nature to want to be with others that are happy to see you. And most of our dogs no matter how short of a time we have been gone, do the happy dance upon our arrival.
They also can keep you from feeling lonely. They are good listeners. You can tell your pet anything and you won’t get any back talk or bad advice.
Increase Security & Safety.
That’s right your pet provides security from robbers. Criminals hate houses with dogs. They are noisy and sometimes vicious. Just the presence of a dog can make a robber pause. They don’t know if your dog is a biter or just a barker. Even a Dachshund has a ferocious bark. Your dog can also provide protection when you are out and about walking.
Reduce Stress & Blood Pressure.
A study involving 48 stockbrokers who were all on hypertension medication revealed that caring for a pet can lower blood pressure. 48 stockbrokers were divided into 2 groups one group that was given pets (cats or dogs) and one without pets. Blood pressure numbers dropped in those with pets.
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Improve Your Social Network.
When you are at the pet store or dog park you will meet other like-minded pet owners. This is a whole new social network to explore. You can make plans to meet up and walk your dogs together. Often people will just want to meet your cute dog and you can start up a conversation and make a new friend. Even your own neighbors will want to stop and pet your pooch and catch up on the gossip of the day.
Dates and romantic interests can even be started just by walking your dog. Pets break down social communications barriers. If you need a date or want to start some new relationships getting a dog or borrowing a dog is not a terrible idea.
A Cleaner Home.
Yes, pets bring in their own dirt and hair and crumbs. But if you have small children you are fighting food crumbs constantly. And while I don’t recommend feeding your dog or cat people food. Dogs are excellent at crumb removal and kids are great at dropping crumbs.
A study out of Germany and Australia found that in both countries pet owners make 15% fewer doctor visits than those without pets.
Pets are also an excellent source of exercise. Walking your dog or playing with your cat increase your activity level and help you burn calories. The American Heart Association recommends 30 minutes of physical activity 5 or more days per week.
Dogs and cats are the most popular pets. But there are a whole range of pets to choose from: gerbils, fish or rabbits. Pet ownership has it rewards but don’t forget to factor in the cost of pet ownership and the care that pets require. Do some research before jumping into pet ownership. But if you already own a pet, pat yourself on the back, by owning a pet you are improving your health.
READ MORE: Choosing The Right Dog Breed For You