For anyone who already has a pet this may come as no surprise, but having an animal friend comes with loads of benefits!
Perhaps the most obvious is: companionship. Pets keep us company and they’re good company to have. From cuddles to simply having something outside of yourself to care for, pets add a layer of socialization to your daily life. That’s probably why there was such a spike in pet adoptions at the beginning of Covid-19 quarantine and lockdown!
People knew they were going to be spending a lot more time at home, which is a great time to adjust to caring for a new creature.
Even so, it’s clearly more than that: people were realizing that a lot of time at home could mean loneliness. Pets absolutely can help you feel less lonely.
It’s extraordinarily fulfilling to care for something outside of yourself. And the mutual affection that builds is deeply rewarding.
However, what they (and you) may not realize is that having a pet comes with loads of benefits beyond having a loving friend!
First, having a pet gives you other opportunities for socialization.
Whether it’s finding groups in person or online for people who have the same type of pet as you, simply chatting casually with people while you’re walking your dog, and in other ways, you can connect with other people in new ways. Between the social component of spending time with your pet and connecting with others (whether they be fellow pet owners or just passerbys), it means you’ll be less lonely – which is great for your overall well being and, arguably, more important now than ever before.
Second, there might very well be a new reason for you to increase the amount of physical activity you’re doing!
Of course this depends on the type of pet you have, but caring for your buddy can be an excellent motivator to get out and move. There’s no need for us to outline all the benefits to walking and running here, but you get the idea. 😉
Third, according to the CDC and other sources, there are several studies that indicate there are very likely real health benefits to having a furry (or scaly or feathery or… well, you get the idea) friend!
Some of the research is a bit inconclusive, but there are promising results showing people with pets have fewer heart attacks, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, decreased triglyceride levels (which is also linked to lower risk of stroke and heart disease), less stress, and better sleep.
Really, with all these benefits, we firmly believe that everyone can benefit from having a pet! The only thing that’s up in the air is what type of pet is right for you. Not sure where to start?
Keep an eye out for our next blog post, which will be all about helping you decide which pet is the best for you!