3 Health Benefits to Owning a Pet

Owning a pet can be rewarding for both your mental and physical health.

A cat enjoys being pet by its owner.

Having a pet is a lifelong commitment, but you can benefit in many ways from having an animal companion. From getting daily exercise from walking your dog to improving your social life as you meet other pet-loving humans, pets have a positive impact on your physical and mental health in a plethora of ways.

1. Heart health

Companion animals have been linked to improved heart health, including lower blood pressure and reducing your risk of a heart attack. In stressful situations, your heart rate often increases, but the presence of an animal can mitigate this physical response. Research has shown both lower cholesterol and blood pressure levels in people who own a pet.

2. Less anxiety

Having a pet can reduce anxiety. A study that focused on children between the ages of six and seven showed that 12% of participants who had a dog experienced clinical anxiety while 21% of participants without a dog experienced the same symptoms. Pets can also reduce anxiety symptoms in adults, helping to improve their mood.

3. Positive outlook on life

Humans of all ages and in all situations deal with challenges that cause frustration, fear, and worry. It can be hard to maintain a positive outlook in difficult circumstances but having a pet can make it easier.

Pets can positively influence your mental state, including your sense of acceptance and security, as well as your outlook on life. It’s not uncommon to see grieving adults and children turn to their pets for comfort. Having a pet can also help you combat feelings of loneliness and depression.

Related: Pets May Help You Lead a Healthier Life

If you’ve always wanted a pet or you’re trying to convince a family member or roommate that you should adopt a furry friend, these benefits make it clear that doing so is certainly worthwhile. Visit your local animal shelter or rescue to find the perfect pet and take advantage of the benefits that come with animal companionship.

Related: How to Keep Your Furry Friends Safe in the Summer Heat

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