For many pet owners, the benefits of pet ownership are obvious and plentiful. You may be surprised to learn though, that the benefit of owning a pet extends past unconditional love and can actually be beneficial to your overall health. Pediatrician James E. Gern, MD explains on Web MD that his studies have shown that children who grow up in houses containing dogs, are less likely to suffer from allergies and asthma as they have been able to grow a stronger immune system, thanks to their furry friends. Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Dr. Nadine Kaslow, states that there are also mental benefits of owning a pet, which include a decrease of loneliness and shyness. It’s even believed that pet owners have fewer problems with high blood pressure and heart disease, with a study showing that stockbrokers whom owned a pet suffered from fewer physical symptoms of stress than their non-pet owner counterparts. Alzheimer’s patients were found to have fewer anxious outbursts if an animal was near their side. Likewise, their caretakers took ease from the presence of the animal, especially cats, whom need less looking after.
Keynote speaker and bestselling author, Amy Morin, shared with the readers of LifeHack that owning a pet is a guaranteed way to get you moving. This is especially true of dogs, as almost all breeds require exercise, and at the very least, to be let out and cared after. She states that your dog may even save your life by offering early cancer detection. “Many dog owners have reported their dog sniffing, licking, or nudging spots that later turned out to be cancerous.” Mentally, Morin notes, you’ll feel safer and securer knowing that your dog’s keen sense of hearing will alert you of strangers approaching long before you might notice. Even if a burglar will only encounter a Chihuahua with a superiority complex on the other side of your door, the bark may be enough to make them think twice.
If you’re having trouble deciding whether it’s time to take in a new pet and offer them a forever home, consider the following benefits that you will be gaining.
- Stress Relief – You’ll likely find that your blood pressure will go down, endorphins will be released through exercising with your pet, and your likelihood to suffer from depression will decrease.
- Home Security System – Not only will your dog alert you of approaching danger, and quite possibly leap to your rescue, but you may also find that they’ll alert you of pre-existing bodily harm by sniffing out cancer.
- Match Maker – Besides keeping astray the feeling of loneliness, your pet may also offer up a great conversation starter, as well as an excuse to go out and meet new people with a shared common interest.
There’s only one aspect of pet ownership where your four-legged friends aren’t doing you any favors, and that’s with the waste they leave behind. As the old adage goes, “everybody poops,” so we can hardly blame them. Bacteria, roundworms and other parasites can be discovered happily finding a home in the piles left behind in your yard. These are easily tracked inside, posing a health threat to you and your children. However, this is hardly a good enough reason to avoid the wonderful journey of pet parenthood. You just need to make sure you have a plan for pet waste pick up and if desired, turn to the experts.