National Pet Month which is annually observed in the United States in the month of May promotes the benefits of pet ownership; the benefits that pets bring to the lives of humans and vice versa. Asides promoting the benefits of pet ownership, National Pet Month also aims to support pet adoption and create awareness on the role, contribution, and value of companion animals.
Proven benefits of pet ownership for people include physical, mental and mood enhancements.
From improving social skills to lowering a person’s risk of heart attack, below are five benefits of pet ownership
1. Builds Your Immunity
Do you know that cuddling a pet helps to ward off allergies? According to a University of Wisconsin pediatrician, James E. Gern, having a pet at home can lower a child’s likelihood of developing related allergies by as high as 33%. In fact, his research – as published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology – shows that children exposed to animals early on tend to develop stronger immune systems overall. To read the full the article check out this link.
2. Improves Your Social Skills
Pets can be an instant icebreaker, helping to improve your social skills. Whether they are with you or simply being the topic of conversation makes them a great means for improving your socialization skills especially in terms of meeting and interacting with other pet parents. Pets can be the common denominator that helps people connect when having a hard time getting to know each other. This is true across board, even among people who don’t seem to be very much alike.
3. Reduces Your Stress Level
Just like a baby, many pet owners would agree that a pet can fill your heart with so much love which ultimately helps to improve the overall health of your heart, too. The National Institute of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have conducted heart-related studies on people who have pets. The findings revealed that pet parents exhibit decreased blood pressure and cholesterol levels which can ultimately minimize their risk for having a heart attack later in life. Research also shows that patients who have already experienced a heart attack tend to have better recovery rates with a dog or a cat as pet. These benefits are thought to be linked with a pet’s tendency to help reduce its owner’s overall stress level.
4. Prevents Obesity
Another main benefit of pet ownership is that dog owners responsible for walking their dogs are less likely to be obese than dog owners who pass the duty off to someone else or those who do not own dogs at all. Most dogs need to be walked several times a day. Therefore, if you need a little motivation to exercise and stay fit, you’ll find a companion in your dog. Benefits include losing or maintaining weight. If you need help walking your dog while you are at work or away from home for extended hours you may like the help of a professional dog walker.
5. Best Companionship
Are you lonely, bored, or depressed? Pets are a great way to beat the blues. Not only are pets known to offer unconditional love to their pet parents, they also give their owners a sense of purpose, which can be vital for those feeling down. By providing companionship, pets can help you combat feelings of loneliness which can ultimately boost your overall mood bringing you feelings of joy and happiness. For instance, even many hospitals and nursing homes use Pet-facilitated Therapy (PFT) or Animal-assisted Therapy (AAT) in caring for vulnerable groups especially the sick and elderly.
Now that you know some of the benefits of pet ownership, is it time to open your home to a furry friend if you don’t have one? If you live in the Los Angeles area there are so many wonderful pets in need of adoption at the LA Animal Services Shelters. To find a shelter near you check out this link.
Can you think of more benefits of pet ownership?