Health Benefits of Pets

Pets are an important part of many families. Whether it’s a dog, cat, rabbit or fish, having a pet can have a huge impact on the life of a person. Pets bring people a sense of companionship and support and can help with stress and anxiety. They also teach children responsibility and compassion.

It’s estimated that over 250 million pets live in America. That’s a lot of love, care, and attention! But what about the animals themselves? Often, people don’t think about the fact that most of the pets in their lives are animals that were once in the wild. Many of them are born and raised in captivity for our entertainment and enjoyment. Some are even bred, or “selected,” to be the perfect companion.

Animals have a variety of emotions and behaviors that are a result of living in human society, and we anthropomorphize them – or attribute human traits to the animal. A common example of this is a dog or cat who has an accident on the couch, and their owner assumes that they did it because they are upset that they are being left alone. In reality, the behavior is likely an appeasement gesture – they are trying to calm down and avoid getting yelled at.

Some pets are adopted from animal shelters or rescue groups. These animals have suffered from abandonment or loss of their previous owners. They may also be recovering from a serious illness or injury.

When people adopt a pet from a shelter, they are experiencing the feel-good benefit of helping an animal in need. They’re also experiencing a boost to their own health! Studies show that owning a pet, especially a dog or cat, can reduce blood pressure and cholesterol, increase heart rate, and decrease feelings of depression and isolation. It can also help with weight management and encourage regular exercise.

Another health benefit of owning a pet is that it can help you build a daily routine and maintain consistency. Having a pet requires consistent feeding, grooming and veterinary care, and this can provide a sense of purpose and structure to a person’s day. In addition, most people find that they are less prone to impulsive eating and drinking when they have a pet, since they have someone else who needs to be fed on a schedule.

If you are thinking of adding a pet to your family, we encourage you to consider an adoption from a shelter or rescue group. They need loving homes, just as much as the pets we buy in stores. Just make sure you are ready for the commitment and responsibilities that come with owning a pet, and don’t forget to take your dog for frequent walks! If you’re shopping for a new dog food, choose an expert-formulated recipe from a company that uses board-certified nutritionists to create its diets. They’ll test for nutrient content and adequacy, as well as assess the food for contaminants.