5 Reasons Why You Should Keep a Pet

We all like pets. Be it be a cat, dog or even a rabbit. Everyone at some point in their lives has built a connection with their pet. They not only provide us with an emotional connection but can be of other health advantages as well. Research studies are revealing the countless benefits that can be obtained by keeping a pet at home. It can boost both mental and physical wealth being.

After having a stressful day at the office, resorting to your pet for comfort may be one viable option. The affectionate provided can be a great stress reliever. Pets provide with the emotional support one is in dire need of. Not only when you are feeling down but on happy occasions, their playful attitude can enhance the inner joy. So much so, pets become one important member of the family. Living without it may seem impossible at times.

Why keep a pet?

The American Psychological Association has revealed interesting statistics relating to pet ownership. The findings validate the fact that one’s mental wellbeing can be greatly improved when around a pet. It may be a source for mood stabilization and can decrease the symptoms of anxiety and depression. In addition to that, a number of other health benefits can be obtained with pet ownership. The following discussion will highlight on some of the bright sides of keeping one at home.

Keeping fit

While this is not one of the direct health benefits of having a pet, it still remains an important aspect. Having a pet means spending a considerable amount of time outdoors. This will encourage a greater physical activity which can, in turn, keep the person fit.

In particular, dog owners will find that going out for a walk is a must as to sustain the proper health of the pet. The indirect benefit entailed is the burning of calories from walking. The owner remains active and will unlikely to be inflicted with obesity-related illnesses. A study published in USA Today found pet owners to be 50% more physically active. They are likely to have more of the recommended exercises in comparison to people who don’t own a pet.

Having spent time outdoors can induce a greater production of vitamin D for a greater exposure to sunlight. This will help in the absorption of calcium to promote stronger bone health.

Promoting a healthier heart

One of the most interesting findings revealed is: the advantage pet ownership has on the heart. The American Heart Association and researchers belonging to UCLA have validated this positive relationship. Accordingly, the studies concluded that keeping a pet home can boost cardiovascular health.

The reason is very straightforward. As owning a pet means spending time outdoors doing physical activity, in turn promoting a healthier heart. In addition, helping to keep blood pressure at a normal level at the same time decreasing obesity.

Dog therapy performed on patients suffering from cardiovascular illness proved to be fruitful enough. Hospitalized patients reported surprising healing in the presence of friendly pets particularly dogs.

Pets help in fighting allergies

This rather unusual advantage happens to be true. Researches have found out that keeping a pet can check a number of allergies. So if you commonly face such problems, then owning a pet may be the right way out. It can lead to stronger immune system helping fight foreign invading microbes. Especially, if you grow up with a pet, your immune systems start to develop immunity. This immunity continues to improve over time making it less likely for any allergy to result.

The Clinical and Experimental Allergy identified that children who had a pet at their home were more protected from allergies. They even stood with a considerably lower chance to be inflicted with any disease in the future. Surprisingly, the gender dynamics come in play when considering this benefit of having a pet. Boys are far more likely to develop a stronger immunity than girls. The reason scientists attribute is the way both the genders interact differently with pets.

Inducing a healthier social life

We, humans, are social animals. We need social interaction to help us keep alive and stay mentally and physically fit. Having strong social connections are important as a way to sustain long-term health. Failure to do so can be severely consequential. We increase our chances of being diagnosed with mental illnesses like depression and anxiety. However, on the flip side, owning a pet can induce a stronger and healthier social life.

People who find it difficult to build meaningful connections with other people can overcome the problem by owning a pet. It is widely believed that pets help formulate a strong emotional connection. You can have a social connection with your pet as well as other people. For this reason, pets are also known as “ice-breakers.” Meaning by, having a pet means that you can bond with other pet owners. It allows for a topic of discussion, in turn, breaking the ice.

With regards to children suffering from autism, keeping a pet has helped formulate an emotional connection with other peers. Autistic children with pets were likely to interact with their fellow members coupled with meaningful friendships. Medical Scientists also believe that owning a pet can further lead to the symptoms of the disease becoming less intense. Particularly, dogs were known to play a better role in this regard. However, other pets like rabbits, cats and even parrots helped autistic children with social interactions.

Overcoming Stress

This fast-paced world with all the advantages has also brought a number of consequences. People from all walks of life are subjected to stressful situations. It is considered normal to have stress for certain situations like taking an exam, interview etc. However, when it becomes a part of daily life, is when the problem becomes a matter of concern. Such circumstances demand a ray of hope. While there may be a long list of natural remedies, owning a pet can be one viable option. A stressful day followed by the affection provided by the pet can be utterly helpful.

Having a pet at home is good and healthy for both mind and soul. A case in point is that of the American War Veterans. The post-war circumstances brought in a great amount of stress which became difficult to cope with. That is when neuropsychologists all over the US suggested a remedy in form of owning a pet. The results proved out to be positive and veterans were able to deal with their stress in a far better way.

The reason being the ability of the pet to induce the production of certain chemicals in the brain. Playing with a pet can lead to the secretion of serotonin. A higher level of serotonin elevates the mood level making the person feel calm and peaceful. It is important to note that people with depression have a low level of serotonin.  Which in turn is responsible for common mood disruption in the patients.

Areeba Hussain

Areeba is an independent medical and healthcare writer. For the last three years, she is writing for Tophealthjournal. Her prime areas of interest are diseases, medicine, treatments, and alternative therapies. Twitter @Areeba94789300

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