We might not go about adopting a pet with a specific health purpose in mind, but nevertheless, our pets do just as much for us as we do for them. While the unconditional love that exists in animal-human bonds is enough for our mental well being, there is also a wide array of other benefits pet ownership can bring. Whether you’re searching for more reasons to love your pet or trying to convince your housemates into letting you adopt one, here are 10 ways pets can improve our life immeasurably.
1. They’re The Perfect Destresser
New pet owners might scoff at this as they clean up yet another rug forever stained by their pet’s “accidents”, but we promise it gets better from there. Mostly. Studies have shown that the presence of a pet can immediately make a task less stressful for the owner. Coming back home at the end of a tiring day to a loving pet can be exactly what you need to erase the day’s woes.
2. They Improve Immunity In Babies
If you’re pregnant and everyone has been telling you that you need to get rid of Fluffy, then breathe a sigh of relief. Having a pet at home could actually make your baby’s immunity stronger. Babies coming from homes with animals were shown to have suffered less colds and infections and were less likely to suffer from asthma. As long as their interactions are closely monitored, your baby and your pet can both coexist peacefully.
3. They Can Help You Exercise
We might lose all dedication three days into our gym membership, but having a dog could help you get fit even without it. Taking your dog for brisk walks and runs will give you a happy pet and a toned body. Unless you have a dog that doesn’t like walks, in which case our sympathies go out to you.
4. They Can Expand Your Social Circle
Having a pet can be an instant icebreaker. While you might not approach a stranger walking on the street, you’re more likely to strike up a conversation with them when they’re with a pet. Talking about pets is a completely acceptable way to initiate a conversation and get to know someone. Plus if someone makes friends with you through your dog, then you’ve got one more animal lover to add to your friend list.
5. Teaches Kids Responsibility
We all want our children to be mature and self-sufficient, but how? Having them take care of a pet could be the best way to teach them to do their chores and become responsible. Depending on their age, you could make it their job to see the pet was given food on time and that their water bowl was regularly filled. When they get older, you could even get them a starter pet like a hamster.
6. They Could Ward Away Heart Attacks
7. They’re Pain Relievers
If you can forget the first few months of their lives when they were teething and used every part of your body as a chew toy, pets can act as painkillers. In patients suffering from post-surgical pain or chronic diseases like arthritis, the presence of a pet decreased complaints of pain. This could be because being near a beloved pet distracts the patient and acts as a mood lifter.
8. Reduces Chances Of A Stroke
Having suffered from a reputation of being unloving and aloof (mainly due to bad marketing), cats are finally getting their due as loveable pet to have around the house. Apart from cuddles and head butts, cats can improve our lives also by reducing our chances of getting a stroke. In fact, cat owners are said to have a 40% less chance of ever suffering from a stroke than their feline-less counterparts. So give Whiskers an extra scratch under his chin for keeping you safe from strokes.
9. Provides Support For Children With Developmental Disorders
Autistic children usually get along much better with pets than with humans (although the same can be said for most of us). As they get very anxious in unfamiliar social situations, having a pet around can calm them down immediately. They also tend to function better in schools and make friends easier if they have pets around them.
10. You Might Detect Cancer Faster
Think your dog’s only superpower is finishing his food in three seconds flat? Think again. Several owners have reported that when their dog keeps sniffing and nosing a particular lump or mole, it’s usually been detected as cancerous. Of course, this doesn’t mean you should get paranoid every time your dog licks you, but if you notice an irregular mole and your dog is obsessed with it too, it’s probably time you got it checked out.