Health&Fitness Talk

Supporting Healthy Life Styles

Health Benefits of Pets Health Benefits of Pets
by Keila Chaliotis, Staff Writer Having pets at home is considered a good preventive medical practice.  Taking care of your pets is a good... Health Benefits of Pets

by Keila Chaliotis, Staff Writer

Having pets at home is considered a good preventive medical practice.  Taking care of your pets is a good way to promote health and prolong more life years.  If you develop some affection for your pet, the better your health might get.  I mention this as some may see having pets as instruments of security, personal gain or simple property.  Having a pet is mainly a source of psycho-emotional benefits for the owner.  Depending on the pet it can also be instrumental in getting some physical benefits.  But at the end of the day, a happy person tends to have fewer illnesses than unhappy ones.

dog running with owner

dog running with owner

Numerous studies have shown that petting, for instance, can reduce arterial pressure in our bodies.  Our body also produces more chemicals to relax ourselves.  After all, pets can be a true antidote against stress and a source of love and companionship.  Some pets can also help us with some calorie burning, other than those require to taking care of them.

One of the main contributions from pets is the reduction in the sense of loneliness.  Having a pet gives the owner more self-confidence and depending on the pet more sense of security and protection.  As a companion, a pet stimulates physical touch and communication.  A study showed that the majority of the pet owners talk to their pets, especially if they seem to “understand” and follow instructions.  Since the conversation is usually one way, owners don’t feel judged.

Having a pet can increase your self-esteem as you take care of it and spend time with it.  Attending to your pet when needed, either by them or yourself, or spending time with them reduces inactive time spent on a couch or in front of a computer.  Many people who actually take care of their pets (not like many children or teenagers who have pets to be taken care by the parents) feel more useful and create a human-animal bond that only grows.  Taking care of the pet can be a source of motivation and happiness for the owner.  Thus, it is a good way to reduce depression episodes.

Teaching your pet a trick, playing with them or taking a walk with them is a good way to burn calories and to stay in shape.  This way, not only will you be getting in shape but also your pet will get some exercise.  Another important result from studies is that people with pets tend to recover faster from surgery and heart attacks than those without pets.  Healthy bodies with a healthy mind and happy heart is a longer life.

Some pets, dogs specifically, have shown great response in helping out people with disabilities and in times of emergency.  They have been able to serve as the “eyes, ears and legs” of people who have problems with or lack these organs.

Pets can be a way to meet other people, whether professionals to provide a service to tend to them or other pet owners who share a common ground with you.  You can meet other pet people at pet clinics, pet stores, pet competitions and pet conventions.  If you go out with your pet, you can even meet someone while walking or running with your pet.

Another aspect of pets is that they can help you in raising your kids and teach them a few lessons and some good positive feelings towards nature and humankind alike.  You can teach your kids about responsibility, compromise and self-confidence by having them care for their pets and increase their communication with you by having them report to you’re their activities with their pets.  A pet can be a source of friendship and love to your kids as they tend to not be judgmental, which is very important in the development of children.  Your child may become more tolerant, sensitive and patient by relating with the pet.  At the end of the day, with good supervision and good parenting, you children will become more humane and more mature with better feelings.

So, if you don’t have a pet you should consider getting one if you feel you are up for the challenge.   But before you do, study which kind of animal best fits your timeframe, space and lifestyle.  After all, some animals if not all have feelings.  They want to take care of you like you want to be taken care of.