Pets require attention and dedication, but those are small prices to pay for the amount of physical and mental benefits they bring into our lives. If you are debating getting one, then the following reasons you should have a pet will likely have you heading out and searching for your next furry (or not so furry) addition to your home.
1. Pets Help Reduce Stress
It has become very apparent that stress affects our mental and physical health and our world has become more stressful than ever. We live in a fast-paced world which demands our attention and can easily wear us out. There are certain methods to reduce stress, but one of the best is to own a pet. Pets provide support like a best friend because they are always available to listen (without judgement), which can help you unload after a hectic day.
Whether your preferred companion is a dog or a cat, talking out issues with hem can help you see the situation differently, let out some steam, and feel more relaxed. Moreover, when you are feeling stressed, there is nothing like a sweet pair of eyes that instantly attract your focus and help you get your mind off the thoughts and emotions that are causing the stress. Pets need to be handled, fed, and loved, so you don’t have time to sit and stew in a negative place; you have better things to do.
2. Pets Provide Constant And Loving Companionship
People are not always around when you need them, but pets are. They are constantly giving off love and gratitude, and they are happy to be in your presence. You can be yourself around pets. You can dance silly or talk silly, and they will not judge you. In fact, depending on the pet they will love the silliness and get silly themselves. Of course, unconditional love like that is a good stress reliever, but constant companionship with a loving being has been shown to improve health in many other ways.
Studies have shown that companionship with an animal boosts your immune system, improves heart health, reduces physical pain, and improves mental health as well. One man with Lupus swears that the cat he received after his diagnosis was what kept him going for 21 years with little pain, good mental health, and very few physical issues. Even though his cat has passed on, he still says that his love for that cat is keeping him strong and healthy. That’s a testament to the power of true love that animals have.
3. Pets Provide Entertainment
Pets are a great source of entertainment. They are living creatures that have habits, quirks, and personalities that can keep you laughing for hours. Dogs, cats, and birds are probably most known for having distinct personalities; however, one snake owner I knew swore that her snake had his own unique personality. He ‘cuddled’ with her and got excited when he came into the room, and she would often put him in the bathtub where he would do all sorts of silly things. The best part is that pet’s personalities can distract you from issues you are having, cause you to engage in more heart-healthy laughter, and keep boredom away.
4. Pets Give You Something To Be Responsible For
No matter what type of pet you get, it will require you to take care of it. Being responsible for another living being can help you be more responsible in the rest of your life too. This is especially true for kids who are learning the value of routine and good habits. However, adults can benefit from the consistent responsibility as well.
5. Teaches You To Be More Compassionate
“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive.” Dalai Lama . We need more compassion in our lives, both self-compassion and compassion towards others. Owning a pet who depends on you for survival, good health, and happiness, can definitely cause you to become a more compassionate person. You have to look outside of your own wants and needs, and look into their wants and needs. And, more importantly, you have to take action on their wants and needs!
For example, you may want to watch TV all day, but if you own a dog and see the desperation in their eyes to go for a walk, choosing to understand their need to burn energy off and get out into the world becomes less of an option and more of an act of kindness. You can easily extend your ability for compassion to other people and the world around you, and that benefits everything in your life. For yourself, the benefits of having compassion are less stress, more awareness, more accountability, and an overall happier life. For others, the benefits of having compassion are a better world to live in or a better outlook of their day.
6. Pets Increase Your Ability To Read Nonverbal Communication
A pet cannot speak, so you have to be able to read their cues and body language. You will be amazed at how this ability can transfer into your daily life with other people.It is said that almost 90% of communication is nonverbal. Having a good grasp on it can help you have better relationships both in your personal and work life. This can benefit your happiness and financial future.
For instance, males tend to react the same whether they are a dog or a person. Dominant males will posture around other males and try to make themselves look tougher and intimidating. Understanding this can help you recognize a dominant personality and deal with it in a way that makes them feel validated. And that can earn you big points when it comes to moving up the corporate ladder!
7. Pets Can Sense Danger
We all know that dogs will bark when they sense someone near the house, and that can be very good for home security; however, pets can sense far more than just a stranger. Just a few examples are:
– A parrot in Florida squawked and flapped so loudly that the family woke up before fire detectors went off, and they escaped a fire.
– A dog in New Jersey, with a spinal condition, pulled himself up the stairs and alerted his sleeping family about a fire.
– A pet snake in China alerted his sleeping owner of a fire by grabbing the owner’s clothes with his teeth and whipping the bed with his tail.
You can find tons of heartwarming stories like these. No matter what kind of pet you get, animals seem to have a sense of danger that we don’t always have, and a pet just may save your life!