Owning a pet is a healthy choice for you and for your furry friend. Whether you’re a single gal or you’ve got a partner and a family, whether you work late nights or you like to cuddle up at home, having a pet has a number of great health benefits that could really make a difference in your life.
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Having a loving pet to come home to every night will actually provide you with less stress in your life, even though it seems at first that it would cause you more. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, pets can actually decrease your blood pressure just by being near you. Pet owners are also less likely to react intensely to stressful situations if their pets are nearby (similarly to parents with children). And of course, just petting a dog or a cat has been scientifically proven to reduce stress.
People who have pets experience less pain because they experience less anxiety and stress. It’s true; those with chronic pain issues such as arthritis or a history of migraines are often told to get a pet because of these benefits. In addition, having a pet nearby to cuddle when you’re experiencing cramps can also help.
According to Mental Health America, approximately 12 million US women experience clinical depression every year. Depression, as well as other mood disorders, is an issue that disproportionately affects women, and at least 1 in 8 women will experience some sort of clinical depression in her lifetime.
Having a pet obviously cannot cure depression or other mood disorders, but it can help women cope with them. Those who have pets often report feeling less lonely than those who don’t, and since having a pet reduces stress and anxiety, those who have them often feel fewer negative emotions from day to day. And when you come home to a pet who has missed you all day and shows you how much they love you, it’s hard to feel sad.
Aids in Child Development
Having a pet as part of a household can actually help children develop more easily and more quickly. Children learn to love their pets, build attachments, and relate better to others. Pets can also reduce children’s risk of allergies; those who are around pets more often as a baby are less likely to develop allergies later in childhood.
Providing a Much Needed Laugh
Have you ever just cracked up at something your pet did? If you haven’t, you probably don’t own one. Laughter, as they say, is the best medicine, and having a pet surely provides plenty of chuckles, especially when you and your pet are able to build the kind of bond that lasts.
So no matter what kind of pet you choose—be it a dog, a cat, a turtle, a fish, or a ferret (if it’s legal in your state of course)—enjoy the benefits you’ll gain by bringing home your new best friend.