Even though pets can sometimes cause a bit of a headache in our lives, it’s the general consensus that we enjoy having them around. Our furry little friends can make us feel more comfortable at home, and they can give us a sense of purpose in our day to day living. Aside from being a great companion, how can pets actually make us feel better?
Improve Your Mental Health
The company of pets has a positive impact on your mental health. They can alleviate general symptoms of anxiety, or uplift periods of depression. Pets are so successful in this form of health that many individuals use emotional support animals (ESAs) specifically for this purpose. The ESA experts at Therapetic explain how it’s possible to get a letter from a mental health professional for an esa service dog, and other animals. Having an ESA letter allows you to have pets in your dwelling without facing problems with your landlord.
Improve Your Physical Health
Our physical health is highly tied to our mental state of being. If you’re constantly stressed, worried, or feeling sad, that’s going to have an impact on your heart and other parts of your body. Since pets are so great at uplifting our mood, this has a direct correlation with our physical well-being.
Dog owners have been shown to have a lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease. If you’re feeling healthy, you’ll also be much happier, and this encompasses the pet snowball effect of improving your health in every facet.
They Make You More Active
If you’re a dog owner, you’re among the lucky people who are benefiting from being more active. Dog owners are more likely to go for periods of walks, and while this might put your pet in a good mood, it also means you’re benefiting from the exercise. A twenty minute walk every day has been associated with lower risks of a plethora of diseases and it can have a positive impact on your mood. Not saying there’s anything wrong with owning a cat, but dogs especially make us become more active and outgoing people.
Pet Owners Are More Social
Dog owners have been shown to have more extroverted lifestyles. This might be because extroverts are more likely to own dogs, or because dogs make people more extroverted. Whatever the case may be, dog owners are more likely to socialize at areas like dog parks and communicate with other dog owners.
Humans are social creatures just like their pets and they benefit from all the bonuses that come with person to person interactions as well. People who are more social report lower rates of depression and social anxiety, and again this effect can cascade into your physical health.
They’re Good For Kids Too
Pets offer an opportunity to test out their social skills, and develop a capacity for empathy. Whether your child is an only child or not, kids who have pets are less likely to develop feelings of loneliness. This is especially important for kids who are just starting to go to school and just encountering the wave of emotions that come with this.
Kids who grow up with pets are also less likely to develop lifelong allergies, and conditions like asthma. If you’re interested in your child’s long-term health, pets are a great way to boost their chances of feeling well into adulthood.
Improved Sleep Quality
Decades of science have established well that sleep is good for you, so here’s a point for the cat-lovers — owning a cat can actually improve your sleep quality. A good percentage of cat owners actually prefer sleeping with their cat and find that it helps their sleep. Having an adequate amount of rest time is important, but being able to have an excellent sleep can improve your mood. Given the demands on the time people have in their lives in modern times, sleep time and quality have been reduced on average for years. If you’re looking to combat the negative effects of the rat race, get a cat.
Owning a pet can be great and they do a lot more than just adding onto your bill at the end of every month. Pets are so great at boosting moods that some psychiatrists recommend individuals use them to help treat their condition. Honestly, if you’re looking to be a healthier, happier person, look no further than your local shelter. Adopting a pet from a shelter is a good way to do some good in your community as well, and you’ll feel better about it. Along with all the other physical and mental bonuses they’ll impart to you.