How Living with Pets Improves Your Well-being

It is impossible to keep a straight face, in the presence of one or more kittens. – Cynthia E Varnado 

Imagine arriving home after a hard day at work and your furry friend runs towards you with nothing but pure joy! If this made you smile, we’re sure you’d like to read on.

Pet companionship is undoubtedly one of the greatest privileges in life providing sheer love and giggles galore. However, the benefits do not end there; having a pet does wonders to your health and well-being!

We’ve put together 5 ways how living with pets improves your well-being!

1. Reduce Anxiety and Stress

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There’s no better sound than a soothing one of a cat purring on your laps. According to a study conducted by Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2015, it was found that children who had pet dogs in their households were less likely to be tested positive for a screening test on anxiety. Children had lower levers of the ‘stress hormone’ cortisol when they interacted with a four-legged companion as compared to those who didn’t.

2. Better Heart Health

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We are all aware that a good lifestyle choice is a key to reducing heart diseases. However, did you know that your pet could also be one of the reasons for a reduced risk of heart disease? A study conducted in 2013 by the American Heart Association concluded that owning a dog may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

3. Stronger Relationships and Social Skills 

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Statistics show that more than 66% of dog owners and 56% of cat owners treat their pets like family members. For children who struggle with autism, studies show that having a household pet may be beneficial.

4. Improved Mental Health

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While having a pet will not be able to cure mental illness, studies show that it certainly could help. Various organizations nowadays recognize animal-assisted therapy as an effective treatment for depression and other mental illnesses.

In a blog for the Huffington Post, social worker Kathryn Oda talks about how her dog Buddy helped her to manage her anxiety and depression.

“A dog motivates you to get out the door for fresh air and exercise, even when it’s the last thing you feel like doing. A dog brings you so much laughter and joy, unlike anything I’ve experienced before, with their unique personalities and hilarious quirks […],” she writes. “And lastly, a dog brings you unconditional love, the kind of love that never stops. With these three things in your life, anxiety and depression can be part of your past as it has become a part of mine.”

5. Better Sleep Quality 

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While it may be annoying when your four-legged pal claims the sheets at bedtime, however, studies have shown that sharing a bed with your pet can lead to a good night’s sleep! One such study conducted in 2015 by MNT found that 41% of surveyed pet owners who allowed their pet to sleep in their bedroom or even on their bed, did not find their pet disruptive but rather reported sleeping well, as they felt secure and relaxed.

 

 

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