The Science Behind Pet Ownership: How Animals Can Be Beneficial

family taking their pets in the park

Pet ownership appears to be a daunting task. As a pet owner, you need to take good care of your pets, as they are considered furry members of the family. But what many individuals and families fail to realize is that pets can take care of them too. In fact, pet ownership comes with a handful of health benefits.

But what’s the science behind the benefits of pet ownership? Let’s find out the answer to this question in the following section:

1. Pets provide some benefits for physical health

Pet ownership offers some benefits for physical health. These furry members of the family can be good for our bodies. Just having dogs or cats around at home can make you physically active.

In fact, a pet-loving professor at Western Carolina University has studied human-animal interaction. Psychologist Harold Herzog said that pets lower the risk of heart attacks, decrease blood pressure, and decrease the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Another study revealed that dog ownership reduces the risk of dying by 24 percent.

2. Pets are best for mental health

Pet ownership can foster the mental health of individuals and families. For one, pet therapy is an animal-assisted intervention used alongside conventional medicine. Science backs animal therapy as an antidote to mental health issues. It can relieve stress and calm the fear of young children, adults, and the elderly. Pets can even go as far as reducing stress, anxiety, and depression.e

Here are some pets and their science-backed mental health benefits:

  • Dogs: A study revealed that children with reading difficulty show less anxiety when reading to a trained dog. As a result, their reading skills have significantly improved.
  • Cats: A research showed that cats show and exhibit love and affection. They can sense your loneliness and provide emotional support and comfort.
  • Guinea pigs: A study revealed that guinea pigs help kids with autism socialize a lot better. They have become more social with peers and shown less stress around people.
  • Fish: Some researchers show that people with Alzheimer’s disease have improved their focus and attention by looking at an aquarium with a school of fish. As a result, they have started eating better and becoming less susceptible to pacing.

3. Pets make pet owners physically active

Another good reason to have pet ownership is how these furry members can keep you and your family physically active. As a pet owner, you must take care of your pets as much as they take care of you. Below are some pet activities that will keep you busy and preoccupied:

  • Feeding: Know that you must feed your dogs and cats every day. As furry family members, you don’t want to starve them and compromise their health.
  • Bathing: It’s vital to ensure the proper hygiene of your pets. As much as possible, you have to bathe them regularly to promote cleanliness and health.
  • Grooming: As a pet owner, ensure your pets’ proper grooming. Better yet, consider hiring grooming services if you must.
  • Training: It’s a good idea to train your pets, whether dogs or cats. If you don’t know how to proceed, consider dog boarding and training. That way, professionals will take care of your pets.
  • Playtime: Take ample time to play with your pets. Walk them in the neighborhood and park if you have extra time.

4. Pets keep you company

Did you know that pet sales and adoptions have soared during this pandemic? Yes, many individuals have either purchased or adopted dogs or cats during this pandemic. Their ultimate goal is to have pets around to keep them company during lockdowns.

Furthermore, National Geographic says pets help people cope with the COVID-19 pandemic. Pets provide them with emotional support amid the crisis. In fact, pet owners couldn’t even imagine living without their furry family members during this unprecedented time.

5. Pets help boost your social interaction

It’s easy to see pet owners walk their dogs in the neighborhood, in parks, and in other places. You’ll also encounter these people mingling with each other. Their pets usually become the subject of their discourse and interaction.

It appears that pets help us connect with other people. In fact, one study suggested that people look more trusting, friendly, and cooperative with their dogs around. It’s safe to say that pets can boost our social interaction.

At this point, you now know the science behind the benefits of pet ownership. As explained above, pets are good for physical and mental health. They can also make you physically active. Lastly, they can keep you company and boost your social interaction. With all these benefits, you have good reasons to consider pet ownership.

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