Having pets is more than just having someone to come home to. This is another member of your family, who will love you unconditionally. It does not really matter what type of animal you keep as a pet, you have someone who relies on you and just wants the best bond with you.
In fact, having pets has proven to improve the health of humans considerably. This is especially the case when it comes to pets that need walking or are overly affectionate. They can help improve your mental and physical health within months.
This could be the perfect time to get a new family member in your home. That is if you have the time and ability to look after a furry friend. Here are all the ways that you can improve your health through pets.
- It is All About Spending Quality Time
Just having a pet in your house is not going to improve your health instantly. This is all about spending quality time with your pet. The health benefits mostly come from the connection that you and your pet will have. Many pet owners express how their pets are family members, and in some cases like their children. Social and relationship connections are essential for human beings. We feel appreciated, loved, and valuable.
One of the benefits of pets is that they love unconditionally. They are always there for you, waiting for you to come home. There is no hatred in their bones and no reason for them to fight against you. They know that you care for them, so they are going to be there whenever you need them. They will listen to you when you have had a bad day and celebrate your achievements with you.
- Petting Your Pet Helps Release Happy Hormones and Reduce Stress
One of the biggest benefits is the reduction in stress. When you do not have a pet, you need to find a way to reduce the stress hormones being released. This is not easy for everyone. Stress can lead to being cooped up in the house and struggling to sleep, as you do not have an outlet in your home.
Your pet will give you some type of outlet. No, not something to shout at or release your stress at but to help you calm down and release the happy hormones. Simply just stroking or petting your animal is the best way to reduce your stress levels. The process of stroking helps you focus on something and someone else, while you build your relationship with your pet.
Cats and dogs tend to be the best, especially dogs since they love this sort of connection with you. But any animal can give you this type of benefits. Rabbits and pet rats tend to sit on your hands and let you stroke them gently. Gerbils and hamsters will enjoy the feeling, and you get the constant movement and soothing touch.
Just petting your animal helps to release the relaxation hormones. Your blood pressure will drop, and you are at a much lower risk of various side effects of too much stress.
There are still other ways to reduce your stress and deal with how stress affects you, but having an animal in your house will improve your health much sooner. The next time you come home from work, sit down with your pet for 10 minutes and stroke them lovingly. You’ll instantly notice the difference.
Of course, getting out of the house with your pet will also help to improve your mindset and reduce stress. When you get more exercise, you will release more happy hormones. These hormones help to reduce a number ofstress hormones released into your body. You start to feel better and happier within yourself.
- Someone to Talk to When It All Goes Wrong
You may feel like you are talking to yourself, but your pet does listen to you. This is especially the case with dogs. Your pet will recognize your voice and be interested in the things that you must say. They want to know how your day went and will be there to comfort you when you need it.
When you just need to rant or share something sad that has happened, your pet will sit and intently listen to you. There is no judgment and nobody to answer you back. You just get to release the frustration and rant to someone in your home.
While you need to watch out for taking out the stress of your pet, this is a great way to deal with situations that have just gone wrong. You get to vent without issue, and your pet will be there to cuddle you when you have finished.
The same applies when you are sad. If you just want to cry, your pet will be there to come to you and give you a shoulder to cry on. Your loving furry friend will not leave until they are certain that you are ready for them to go somewhere—unless they need to get outside for their business, of course! You get the soothing that you need without having to explain yourself.
- Help to Improve Your Physical Health
When you have a pet, especially a dog, there is no denying that you have to get out more. Dogs require regular walks, which means that you get out of the house to do that. It does not matter if it is raining, snowing, or dry, your dog will need to get outside for their business and to get their own exercise.
Studies have shown that those without dogs will do 168 hours a week of exercise on average. Those who have dogs will do 300 hours a week. That is double the recommended amount to support your health and is the exact amount recommended to boost weight loss efforts. There are high chances that you do not even realize that you are doing this amount of exercise, as you just do it because your pet needs you.
- Feels Like You Have More Meaning in Life for a Better Quality of Life
The quality of life is not just about the amount that you can do in a day. There is an element of feeling like you are worth more and that you play a valuable role in those around you. This can be difficult if you do not have someone or something relying on.
Those with pets tend to feel like they have more control. There is someone who is only reliant on them. Children grow up and leave the house. The animal is always there until the end of its life. This really does not matter what type of animal you have.
This better meaning of life helps to boost quality. It boosts your mood and helps you feel like there is a place for you. This leads us to the next point.
- Pets Support the Mental Health to Decrease Risks of Depression
When you have a pet, you tend to have a better support system. We just must look at the above benefits of having someone there to listen to your vents and cuddle you when you are sad. Those with pets are far less likely to suffer from mental health issues like depression and anxiety. There is always someone there ready to boost your mood and put a smile back on your face.
Remember that this is someone who loves you unconditionally. When you are having a bad day, they are there to give you a cuddle and let you stroke them. You’ll release the relaxation and happy hormones in your body to better support your mood.
This is also someone in your life who passes no judgment. You do not have to feel self-conscious when you want to talk to someone and tell them about your day. There is no need to feel worried that your secrets and feelings will be shared with anyone else. Even if the person cannot talk, you are more likely to open up. Just getting the words and feelings out can help to boost your feelings. It is almost like having a diary to share your feelings with someone you deeply trust.
At the same time, you build the confidence to share your thoughts with others. You are more likely to find someone to confide in who can physically help you; someone who will be able to support you in ways that pets just are unable to.
If you are not too sure about this, it is worth looking at study results. Studies have shown that those with pets have fewer depressed thoughts. They are also less likely to consider suicide. You know that there is someone else who is totally reliant on you and someone who gives you that urge to keep on living.
This is also a benefit if you suffer from PTSD. Your pet helps to keep your memories at bay. You focus just on the moment and your time with your animal. If there is a trigger, you have your pet there to pull you back and remind yourself where you are. Those flashes are kept to a minimum, and you are more likely to be able to move forward, rather than remain focused on the event and let it take control of your life.
- Helps Eliminate the Feeling of Being Lonely
How often have you felt completely alone in the world? You can be surrounded by family and friends, but you still feel like you are on an island and nobody is there to help you. There are times that you can feel like you are drowning, and nobody is coming with a life vest to keep you afloat.
This can lead to various mental health problems. It is also one of the main reasons for suicide. Even if you know there are people there for you, you do not feel like you can talk to them.
Your pet helps to eliminate this feeling of loneliness. You know that there is somebody right there to support you and help you. While they may not be able to do anything physical to help you, just the fact that they are there will help.
At the same time as offering someone to lean on, your pet will help you become more sociable. Pet owners tend to talk to each other, even if they do not know each other’s names.
As you socialize more, there is not this feeling of isolation. You are not longer on this desolate island with nobody around you. There is also the ability to get an adult conversation with people who will talk back! Pets are great, but they can only do so much, right?
- They Take You Out of the Daily Grind, Even for a Moment
The daily grind can wear you down. If you come home to an empty house, you are more likely to feel it. However, with other adults or even children, you can feel this daily grind take its toll on you. There is this feeling of all work and no play, and you really do become dull and bored.
While there is a routine, you forget what it was like to have fun. This is especially the case as children grow up or as you get swamped under more projects at work. You struggle to find the enjoyment in life.
Pets will not let that happen. They want attention, and they need fun. They want you to play with them and will pester you until you do it.
- Reduce the Risk of Allergies, Not Create Them!
There are a lot of people who say that pets have caused allergic reactions. Sure enough, there are some people who are allergic to some animals. However, this is usually to the pet dander or the bacteria that can build in the fur if it is not cleaned regularly. Some people will only be allergic to certain types of animals, meaning having a pet is not completely out of the question: you just need to find the right pet.
Yet, there are studies that show having a pet can help to reduce allergic reactions, and not just to other animals! Studies have shown that children are less likely to develop the likes of hay fever, eczema, and other common ailments. This is when children are exposed to pets within the first six months of their lives.
Asthma symptoms are also less likely in children with pets. While there are still studies to understand the full reason why scientists believe that this is due to the body being exposed to the allergens at an age when the immune system is still developing. The immune system views the allergens as normal, so does not create the antibodies to fight against them. There is not the view that the allergens are causing a problem to your health.
The studies have shown that people who grow up around dogs, cats, or farm animals have the best benefits. They gained stronger immune systems in the future, which mean they are also more likely to fight off some of the most common infections and will have a lower risk of developing respiratory infections.
- Is It Time to Add a Pet to Your Life?
If you do not already have a pet, you may want to consider adopting one into your life. There are just so many ways that you can benefit from one.
Pets love unconditionally, and that is the main thing to take away from all this. All they care about is how you treat them and that you know they are there to support you when you most need it.
If you have the ability to look after a pet—only do this if you can genuinely care for one—then consider adopting one to help support your health.
You will not regret the health benefits you gain when you add a pet to your life!