Millions of pets between cats and dogs to lizards and birds, are loved worldwide. Even those who dislike pets end up loving at least one in their lifetime.
Personal note: A close family member of mine hated cats, until a neighbor’s cat decided that this cat-hating person was his new owner. About a decade later, those two were the closest of friends. At the cat’s passing, the cat waited until his best friend got home to finally pass away. “He change my perspective on pets. I get why people own animals now.”
“Why does this happen? Does having a pet really make a difference?”
According to several studies, having a pet does make a difference!
Dr. Manny Alvarez of Fox News wrote how owning a dog can:
- Improve self esteem and confidence (especially in those with disabilities)
- Lower the risk of Heart Disease
- Force you to exercise
- Lower stress hormones in the body
- Slightly lower Blood Pressure
- Improve your Gut Health by exposing you to their Immune system
- Distract you from every day stressors
Now, this list is simply just for dogs. However, many people who still don’t care to own dogs (like myself), have different animals they carry as pets.
Personal Note: I live with three cats and they’ve made a huge impact on my stress levels. If I’m having a rough day and I don’t want to interact with a human, I know if I pick up a crumpled piece of paper, one of those cats will come running to play.
“What impact do the other pets have?”
- Improve the level of seratonin in your body (this is a hormone that makes you feel happier)
- Help Lower Cholesterol levels
- Improve the Strength of your Bones
- Increase survival after a Heart Attack
- Ease a sense of Loneliness and Depression (Personal Note: Pets also give a sense of responsibility, giving a person suffering with depression a reason to get up in the morning.)
- Lower chances of having a Stroke
- Allow a chance to Talk with other Pet Owners (Personal Note: One of the biggest subjects my clients love to talk about is their pets!)
- Lower the chance of forming allergies in children (Personal Note: Maybe that’s why I’m not allergic to animals?)
- Act as Alarms or Protectors for those who have Austism, Diabetes, Strokes, Heart Attacks, Blindness, Deafness, or Seizures
Many of these reasons are why animals are brought into Nursing Homes and Hospitals. They help people heal just by their presence alone.
There is one thing that pets give that cannot be denied: Unconditional Love. No matter what happens, your pets will love you.
If you want to adopt a pet, check your local animal shelters: http://www.humanesociety.org/animal_community/resources/tips/find_local_animal_shelter.html