If you’re an animal lover, then you’ll probably know all about the power of pets. There’s no doubt we can form strong bonds with animals we adopt into our home, but did you know that while you’re looking after your pet, they’re also looking after you? Here’s five powerful, and surprising, ways having a pet can inspire us to be healthier:
Just like us humans, pets need exercise too, and without it they are prone to the same health problems we are. Being a pet owner, and responsible for the regular exercise of our chosen companion can inspire you to pursue healthier more active lives. Dogs must be walked, cats like to play, rabbits need to run, and horses can be ridden. All these activities involve you and you get to share the great health benefits of regular exercise whilst enjoying quality-time with your companion. Exercising has never been this fun! 2. More Sociable Dogs are said to be “man’s best friend”, but in fact any pet can make a great companion. Trusting and devoted and unconditional in their affection, pets are a great source of company and comfort for those living alone or who find socializing difficult. The strong relationships we build with our pets has been scientifically shown to improve our abilities to trust and communicate, as well as boosting our self-confidence, all of which help us become more sociable and decrease feelings of loneliness. Having a dog is also a great way to meet and strike up conversation with fellow owners when out on walks. 3. More Organized The responsibility of owning a pet is perfect for helping you to develop a strong daily routine. Pets don’t allow you to forget about their meal times or playtime and certainly not their nap times, and this allows you to build a routine for yourself around this. Routines are super healthy because they encourage you to be active, more focused, more satisfied and less stressed. 4. Less Stress Modern life can be stressful and stress is an increasingly common threat to our health. When stressed, we’re at risk of higher blood pressure, lack of sleep, headaches and even heart disease, but having a pet can help you to relax and deal with situations and problems more easily. Having a dog around the house increases feelings of comfort and safety, watching fish swim in a tank has been found to have a calming effect, and cats are great for satisfying the need for touch as a stress-release. Best of all, pets help us to stay positive and optimistic because of the laughter, humor and happiness they bring to our lives! 5. More Immune If you have children or grandchildren, you could be helping improve their health just by owning a pet! How? Well, research shows that young children who spend more time with animals are less likely to develop allergies, and more importantly, their immune system actually strengthens itself as a result of exposure to animals. This means that in years to come they will be better prepared to fight off any disease or illness that comes their way, and all because they got to play with Grandma/pa’s puppy as a child!