The Benefits of Having a Pet


A pet is an animal that is kept for company and companionship. Most people keep dogs, cats or fish as pets but it is possible to have many different animals as pets including lizards, snakes, hamsters and even insects. Pets are usually not bred to work but they may be trained to do tasks for their owners. People with disabilities often have pets as they provide unconditional love and help them to develop social skills. People with sensory issues such as autism can also benefit from having a pet as it helps them to feel comfortable and calm.

Pets can bring health benefits to people by reducing stress and blood pressure. They can also improve cardiovascular and respiratory health. Research shows that having a pet can help to increase life expectancy and lower mortality rates. It is thought that the presence of a pet can help to reduce depression and feelings of loneliness. It is believed that having a pet can also encourage exercise and provide a focus for mental energy. As a result, a person with a pet can feel more in control of their life and less anxious.

Some people are allergic to animals but can live happily with a pet as long as they take care of the animal’s needs. People with mental illnesses can find that having a pet provides them with a purpose and a reason to get up each day.

Pets have been domesticated for centuries for food, fur and companionship. Historically, many types of animals have been kept as pets such as falcons, pigeons, carrier pigeons and birds of prey. Some animals that were once used to perform tasks for humans, such as horses and elephants, are now rarely seen as pets.

The first step in getting a pet is to decide whether it is what you want. Pets need time, money and a stable home environment. Fostering a pet or helping a friend with theirs can be a great way to see whether having one is right for you. The animal charity PDSA has some key questions you should ask yourself before making the commitment to own a pet.

Pets can teach children responsibility and empathy. They can also teach lessons about life, including reproduction, illness, death and bereavement. It is important for children to be taught the correct ways to handle and play with their pets. They should not be allowed to be rough with them or to abuse them. A child who is abusive to a pet should be referred to a child and adolescent psychiatrist for evaluation.