Discover the Health Benefits of Pet Ownership!
An estimated 68% of U.S. households have a pet, according to the National Institute of Health. But exactly what health benefits does pet ownership bring? Find out by reading on.
One of the best factors about having a pet – be it a cat, dog or a bird – is their unwavering companionship. Being able to go for a walk with your dog, snuggle with your feline friend or teach your feathered pal to chirp a word are all enriching experiences that create an irreplaceable bond between human and animal. This companionship is unique because not only is it unconditional, but all your pet wants in return is love.
Studies have shown the bond between humans and their pets can increase fitness, lower stress and contribute happiness to their owners’ lives, according to the CDC. Some health benefits of pet ownership include:
- Blood pressure
- Heart rate
- Cholesterol levels
- Triglyceride levels
- Feelings of loneliness
- Opportunities for exercise and outdoor interaction
- Emotional support
- Immune function against certain illnesses
If you already have a pet, you may recognize some of these benefits in your own life. However, if you have yet to adopt a pet and/or are considering it, there are a few factors to consider before welcoming a furry friend into your home:
- How long will this animal live?
- What does the pet eat?
- How much exercise does the pet need?
- How large will it become?
- How much will it cost for veterinary care?
- Do I have enough time to properly care for and clean up after the pet?
- What type of habitat does this pet need to be healthy?
- What type of exercise does this pet need?
- Are pets allowed in my house, apartment or condominium?
- Are there young children, older people, or those with weak immune systems who will care for or be around the pet?
At the end of the day, having a pet is a lot of responsibility and work, but the positive benefits are endless!
“The Power of Pets,” National Institute of Health, newsinhealth.nih.gov, February 2018.
“Health Benefits of Pet Ownership,” The Ohio State University Veterinary Medical Center, vet.osu.edu, June 10, 2020.
“About Pets & People,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cdc.gov, June 10, 2020.