How Owning a Pet Can Positively Improve Health

Posted On Jun 24, 2020 By BowFlex Insider Team

A cat sleeping on a persons forearm.

Some may say that owners take care of their pets, but research shows that pets may be taking care of their owners.

Whether it be a dog, cat, bird, or horse – animals are man’s best friends for a reason. Not only does owning a pet bring fun and unconditional love into your life, but it directly impacts your well-being.

If you’re on the fence about getting a pet, look no further than the following reasons to help solidify your decision:

Mood: Studies show your mood may be positively impacted by owning a pet, since time spent with pets can help ease stress, depression and anxiety. Pets are used as emotional support animals because they are therapeutic and comforting – plus there is nothing better than snuggling with your pet on a cold night.

A dog outside

Exercise: Dubbed the "Lassie effect," owning a pet can increase your motivation to go outside, socialize and exercise. If a pet has lots of energy it needs to burn, you may feel obligated to go on long walks, hike trails or play fetch in the backyard with your pet.

Socialize: Taking your pet on a walk increases your chances of socializing and engaging with other people. Owning a pet also offers an easy point of connection to other pet owners. According to a 2015 study, pet owners were more likely to get to know people in their neighborhood than those who did not own a pet.

Companionship: It is in our DNA to want to take care of others and feel needed – pets fill this need. Being undoubtedly loyal, pets gift us with companionship and teach us patience and affection. Further, dogs in particular provide safety and trust, which in return makes us feel more secure and comfortable overall.

A bird on a woman's shoulder

Pain management: Believe it or not – pets can be the best medicine. As we grow with our pets, they come to understand when we are happy, sad, mad, or in pain. With this, pets learn how to react and make us feel better. Additionally, pets can be a healthy distraction from chronic pain, such as migraines and arthritis, by allowing owners to direct their energy to something positive.

While we may provide them with food and shelter, it is apparent that pets provide us with much more. Pets enrich our lives and we are fortunate to have them – make sure to treat them with care.