Pet owners are becoming more prevalent all around the world. Hotels are making the switch to being pet friendly, and some theme parks are even offering pet care while the family is enjoying roller coasters throughout the park. Though it is common knowledge that pets provide their owners with more responsibility and lots of loving lick-kisses, it is a lesser known fact that owning a pet carries with it health benefits. According to an article on AnimalPlanet.com entitled “Top 5 Health Benefits of Owning a Pet,” there are physical, mental, and emotional improvements a pet can have on its owners.
One of the benefits is a decreased risk for a heart attack. Both the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the National Institute of Health (NIH) have found that people who own pets tend to have lower blood pressure and lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels. If the levels of these three things are high, then an individual is at a higher risk for having a heart attack, but pet owners across the board exhibit lower levels of blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglycerides. This means our little furry friends are good for more than just snuggling up at the end of a long day.
In addition to physical health, pet owners are at a lower risk for depression than individuals without pets. Animals provide a sense of purpose to their owners who are ultimately responsible for the animal’s wellbeing. This purpose causes a decrease in the likelihood for depression or sadness. Pets also combat loneliness with providing companionship to their owners. In fact, many hospitals and nursing homes participate in Animal-Assisted Therapy (AAT) and Pet-Facilitated Therapy (PFT), according to the article, because of the joy and happiness a pet can provide to an ailing individual or group of people.
Our little furry, feathery, and scaly friends provide more than just love and entertainment, they provide us with companionship, a sense of purpose, and health benefits. Who knew having a pet around could be so advantageous?