For centuries, the dog has been known as man’s best friend. And recent studies have shown that this is for a good reason! Extending far beyond companionship, dogs and other pets can provide immense benefits to your health—likely in ways you wouldn’t expect.
Here are a few of the incredible health advantages of owning a pet.
1. They Help with Depression and Anxiety
Pets have a remarkable effect on the mental health of humans who struggle with depression or anxiety. Constant companions, pets can keep you company and help ground you in the present if you’re struggling with a moment of mental crisis. They provide comfort during depressive episodes and remind owners that there is life and joy on the other side of the moment they’re experiencing.
You can even seek emotional support animal registration for your pet. By simply expressing how you benefit from your furry companion to a licensed mental health practitioner and getting an ESA letter, you can easily and legally travel and live with your pet.
2. They Keep You Active
Studies have shown that on average, dog owners are four times more likely to meet the recommended guidelines for physical activity. The activity is a substantial physical health benefit of owning a dog!
Because pets have specific exercise needs, a certain level of daily activity is built into your life that you likely won’t even view as exercise. Dog owners take their pets on walks multiple times a day or spend time outside throwing a ball and running around with their furry friends.
Even people with other types of less-active pets, like cats or birds, must regularly clean their pet’s litter boxes or habitats and perform other essential physical duties for the sake of their animal.
3. They’re Good for Your Heart
Pets are good for your heart. While this may sound like a cliché, it has solid scientific backing and extends far beyond the feel-good, fuzzy feelings you get from having a pet.
Studies have shown that the survival rate increases for heart attack patients who own pets versus those who don’t. There is evidence that pet owners have fewer signs of heart disease and lower cholesterol when compared to others.
This incredible research shows that owning pets has a substantial positive impact on physical health, in addition to the mental health benefits typically associated with pet ownership.
4. They Can Help Build Community
Pets are automatic conversation starters. If you love animals, it is easy to bond with other people who share that feeling.
Taking your dog to the dog park is an excellent example of how pets can help expand your community. You will already share some common ground with the people you meet and talk to about your experiences as pet owners.
Pets also serve as excellent community members and friends, especially for older people who are more likely to experience dangerous social isolation.
There is no cure-all for life’s many ailments. While this is true, owning a pet can add immense physical and mental health benefits to your life.
Interesting related article: “What is Mental Health?“