Health Benefits of Owning a Dog or Cat
The benefits of owning a pet, whether a dog or a cat, are undeniable. From making your home feel more “human” to having someone to show off on your Instagram feed, there are a million emotional reasons why you should run out and adopt a pet right now.
But did you know that a four-legged furry friend will also bring you a host of health benefits? That’s right. Dog owners tend to live longer lives than their non-pet owner counterparts. In some cases, having a dog can actually even help your heart – and not just grow it three sizes like the Grinch’s.
It’s time to convince your partner, roommate, significant other, mom or dad, or whomever you live with (and if it’s yourself, just do it) that it’s time to adopt that cute little kitty or puppy you saw on Facebook. For heaven’s sake, it’s for your health!
Exercise Is No Longer A Nasty Eight-Letter Word
It’s should be no surprise that a dog will increase your daily activity given that you’re going to have to take him/her out on a daily walk – rain, snow, sleet, hail or shine. That regular exercise will add up, and not around your waistline. Dog owners can spend three to four hours a week strolling with their pet, according to a Japanese study. Now, there is no excuse for you to miss a daily stroll and get your steps in on your Fitbit, old-school pedometer or Apple Watch.
That same study found dog owners were less likely to be single, probably because walking daily and being able to commit to a pet are very attractive qualities. Plus, you’re out and about, giving you an opportunity to meet that special someone.
Take A Pet To Heart, Literally
Pets 100% fill your heart with joy, no doubt, and they also provide a wide range of cardiovascular benefits for their owners. Studies have proven that petting a dog can lower your blood pressure and that a cat’s purr can help destress its owner just as soothing music does.
Cat owners often have a lower risk of death from heart attack or cardiovascular diseases than people who have never owned a cat, according to a study from the University of Minnesota.
These facts, plus that increase of exercise you’ll get from walks, easily make a case for adopting a pet. Right?
Longevity, Loneliness and Legitimacy, Oh My
Pet owners tend to live longer, happier lives than those of us who just live with a human. A dog or cat can help you physically and mentally by preventing loneliness and reducing stress, something your significant other or roommate counteracts from time to time. With a pet at home, you’ll have someone to come home to every day who is always happy to see you, wagging tails and playful purrs at the ready.
Plus, because a pet requires a regular schedule so that it doesn’t develop anxiety, it offers you a routine that can help provide some stability in an otherwise disruptive life.
A pet may not be THE prescription for a healthy life, but the presence of a dog or cat can make your day-to-day stresses easier to manage. You may have to deal with some hair on your hardwood floors from time to time and a possible chewed up flip flop because you stayed a little too late at work that one Friday night, but the joy a dog or cat brings you – plus all the added health benefits – is priceless. You can always buy new flip flops, but you can’t buy a new heart!
I think we should add a paragraph that insists that the reader makes sure they are ready for a pet before adopting to lower their stress levels. We do want to encourage responsible pet ownership as well.