The Benefits of Pets


Pets can decrease stress, feelings of loneliness, improve heart health and even help children with their emotional and social skills.

The NIH (National Institutes of Health) claims that pets, especially dogs and cats, can reduce stress, feelings of loneliness, encourage exercise and playfulness, and improve your cardiovascular health. Some studies have shown that pet ownership may also reduce the risk of depression and anxiety, increase the number of steps you take each day, and increase the amount of time you spend with your family.

It is important to remember, however, that owning a pet does not cure mental health issues. Rather, it provides a supportive relationship that may benefit many people with certain conditions.

For example, Emotional Support Animals (ESAs) have been used to alleviate the symptoms of anxiety, major depression and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in people with mental health conditions. Dogs, cats and birds are all considered pets for these purposes and have been proven to provide significant mental support.

In addition to providing physical benefits, a pet can be a source of emotional comfort and a source of unconditional love. Having a furry friend to call your own can make you feel loved and cared for, and it can boost your immune system.

Choosing the right pet can be challenging, as there are so many factors to consider. For starters, you should find a pet that will fit into your lifestyle and your budget. While dogs and cats are often the most popular options, other animals like rabbits, guinea pigs, fish or even exotic reptiles can be excellent companions.

Once you decide on an animal, it is important to prepare your home for the new addition. A pet needs to have a protected and clean living environment, including shelter from the elements and hazards, and access to fresh water. Depending on the type of pet you choose, you will need to prepare a diet that is tailored to meet its nutritional needs. This is particularly true for larger breeds of dog, and should be a combination of cooked meat and fresh vegetables that are safe for your particular pet’s size, age and level of activity.

A healthy pet requires a clean and safe home, as well as nutritious food and plenty of exercise. For dogs and cats, this means regular walks, feedings and grooming. Likewise, birds and fish need daily attention to their diets, so you should prepare food accordingly.

For hamsters and rabbits, this is less of an issue. These small animals require relatively low space and are inexpensive to keep.

Caring for a pet is an excellent way to teach kids the importance of responsibility and empathy, which will help them later in life. They also learn how to deal with loss, and they are encouraged to think about their animal’s future.

The bond between pets and their owners is something that is incredibly rewarding, and is one of the main reasons people get them in the first place. If you are considering getting a pet, talk to your vet about which one would be the best choice for you and your household.