5 Ways Pets Make Our Lives Better

Adopting a pet isn’t just great for the pet. It’s great for you too. You may have read articles that tell you that pets reduce stress and help with depression… and it’s true!

  1. They boost our self-esteem – an article from the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology shows that pet owners exhibit stronger self-esteem than non-pet-owners which improves interactions with others, helps with shyness, and makes our days not as rough.
  2. Pets help reduce allergies – sounds weird, right? But being exposed to a pet early in life can decrease your allergic reactions to animals. In a study, it was found that people who had pets in their house as children were about 50% less likely to develop reactions to animals as adults.
  3. You’re not alone – pets help fulfill social needs and help us stay on top of our game. We might feel a little lonely but we still a pet that asks for our attention and asks for us to play, cuddle, and go for walks. A pet helps prevent us from getting stuck in our negative thoughts and in some ways remind us to stay present.
  4. Pets keep us healthy – playing, jogging, and walking your dog improves our overall health. Dragging a toy around for your cat to hunt and pounce is better than being a couch potato. Pets keep us active! They reduce stress by reminding us that it’s not all about bills and work, and petting a pet can reduce our blood pressure.
  5. Pets improve our interactions – owning a pet can draw people to us. Your dog might spark a conversation with a stranger on the street or another dog lover at the park. Your cat sitting in the window might make someone ask you how old s/he is. Pets can be natural conversation starters!

Image from Old Yella Dog Ranch

29 Benefits of Owning a Pet

There are a lot of reasons to own a pet. Some of us have grown up with pets and it’s hard to imagine living without one as an adult. Others of us may work with animals and sometimes find that there’s one little stray that borrowed its way into our hearts and homes or that foster pup ended up being a furever pup. Sometimes pets find us and literally follow us home (this happened to my cousin years ago).

Regardless of why you have a pet, the health benefits are great and plentiful. Studies have shown that pet owners have decreased levels of stress and tend to have better levels of cholesterol than those who do not own pets. We’ve talked about the benefits of having a dog and when it comes to getting out of the house and exercising as well as the silly things our pets do that make us laugh.

Here’s 29 benefits of owning a pet

  1. They reduce allergies in children who grow up with them
  2. Petting a pet can reduce stress
  3. Walking or jogging with your dog can help you stay fit
  4. When you least expect it, they can make you laugh
  5. Hugging a pet can help relieve sadness
  6. Taking care of a pet can keep us from falling into funks
  7. Dogs can detect illnesses in us (like cancer) and help us get treatment sooner
  8. They are great therapists and always listen to our woes
  9. When it’s cold, a pet snoozing on the bed can warm it up before we go to sleep
  10. Pets won’t judge us if we eat popcorn for dinner or ice cream for breakfast
  11. Pets also don’t care if our socks don’t match
  12. Dogs are more than happy to help clean up any dropped food, especially around the high chair of your baby
  13. Dogs will bark to alert you someone is near your house
  14. If you lose something in the house (like keys) chances are your pet knows where they are, like under them. My cat sits on the things I tend to need.
  15. They’ll gladly help you finish that ham and cheese sandwich
  16. If you need to turn the soil in your yard, your dog may volunteer and dig those holes for you (just might not be where you want them)
  17. Alarm clocks aren’t necessary when your dog has a routine and will gladly keep you on it too
  18. Can help fidgety people calm down. Pet fish can help people learn to sit still and relax
  19. Dogs trained to notice health changes can keep us safe like diabetic and seizure alert dogs that can detect changes in our body before we can
  20. Pets can help children with autism communicate better
  21. Shedding pets will remind us to vacuum! Else we are all furry
  22. Some are just so ugly that they are cute and make us smile for no reason
  23. Pets can reduce the risk of eczema
  24. Some dogs can be trained to sniff out things – like food that contains ingredients you are allergic to and steer you away from them
  25. They remind to live in the present and stop worrying about the future or wishing for a different past. They are your Zen gurus
  26. Dogs can help you make friends at the dog park or on a walk
  27. A teething puppy can remind you to “let go” of material goods (especially when they chew them up!)
  28. Decrease stress
  29. Lowers blood pressure

What would YOU add to this list?

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