Most people would agree that owning a pet is a positive experience. But did you know that there are actual health benefits to pet ownership?
The bond between people and their pets is a mutually beneficial relationship. According to the CDC, this bond can increase fitness, lower stress, and bring happiness to their owners.
Pet ownership increases the opportunities to exercise. Whether it's taking your dog for a walk or playing with them in the yard, your body is moving. This activity can also lead to a decrease in blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Pets also provide their owners with social support. Along with providing the owner with a constant sense of companionship, which can help battle loneliness, WebMD states that pet ownership also provides a way to ease into social situations. How often do you see someone walking their dog be approached by someone else, asking about their pup? The dog poses as an instant conversation starter. A person is also likely to bring their dog to dog-friendly places where they will interact with other owners.
WebMD also states that playing with pets can elevate levels of serotonin and dopamine. These are nerve transmitter that are known to create feelings of pleasure and calmness.
Just as pets are beneficial for their adult owners, pet ownership has a positive effect on children. The Ohio State University Veterinary Medical Center states that animals encourage cognitive stimulation, improved behavior, increased immunity, lower anxiety levels, and a heightened understanding of others. Teaching our children how to care for pets will benefit both the kids and their pets.
The next time someone asks you what's so great about owning a dog, you can tell that that aside from bringing constant joy and love to your life, your pet also has some great health benefits!