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Happy Healthy Pets™

The Power of Pets: 10 Ways Pets Make Life Better

Dog and person with foreheads touching and eyes closed.

#1: Pets increase our fitness

We all know that daily exercise improves our health, and people with pets are generally more active than those who are not pet owners. Exercising with your dog for at least 30 minutes daily keeps them fit and at a healthy weight, and exercise can do the same for you. In addition, rolling around the floor with your cat and their favorite mouse toy, or tossing the ball in the backyard with your dog, strengthens the pet-owner bond, increases your heart rate, and burns calories.

#2: Pets help us connect with others

When you work from home, you may feel isolated and lonely. Fortunately, pets often provide a reason to get out of the house, whether you feel motivated to do so. In addition, when you take your pet to public places, such as the park or local cafe, you have a built-in conversation starter, because few people can resist stopping to pet a cute dog and asking your pet parent questions that often easily transition to a pleasant chat. Owning a pet is also a great way to meet people with similar interests. If you have a passion for Persian cats, start a club, and connect with fellow feline enthusiasts.

#3: Pets provide emotional support

When you come home after a hard day—and your pet greets you like they haven’t seen you in years—your blue mood quickly dissipates. Pets help us regulate our emotions through their calm, loving presence. Hugging a dog, stroking a cat’s soft fur, or feeling their warmth against your skin can be so soothing, helping you feel better instantly. Plus, pets are the best listeners because they never judge, or spill your secrets. Our pets epitomize supportive friends.

#4: Pets give us purpose

Pets thrive on routine, and your pet relies on you to care for their needs, which gives you purpose, even when you have difficulty finding enjoyment or meaning in life. Ensuring your pet receives the care they need and crave may give you the impetus to wake up, and get out of bed each day. A consistent daily routine keeps you and your pet feeling calm and secure. On days when you feel down, simply walking your dog or feeding your cat can help you get moving and feel better.

#5: Pets improve our heart health

Studies show that improved heart health is linked to pet ownership, an added bonus to the health benefits you derive from regularly exercising with your pet. One study reports that pet parents tend to have lower base heart rates and blood pressure, and experience smaller increases in heart rate and blood pressure during stressful periods.

#6: Pets support children’s development

Growing up with a pet is beneficial to children, especially those who practice responsibility by helping care for their pet, such as feeding the dog, or cleaning the cat’s litter box each day. Being responsible for another living creature instills pride and a sense of accomplishment. Pet companionship can also help teach children about compassion, empathy, and difficult subjects such as illness and death. Children who grow up with cats and dogs tend to have lower allergy and asthma rates as well.

#7: Pets keep loneliness at bay

Most people become pet parents because they seek companionship, especially elderly people who live alone and need their furry friend’s love and companionship. Cats’ and dogs’ affection reduces our feelings of isolation and loneliness, and petting them fulfills our human need for touch.

#8: Pets provide entertainment

A pet can be extremely entertaining, and can provide a good laugh. From the puppy who won’t stop chasing their tail, to the kitten who pounces and furiously attacks a yarn ball—life is infinitely more enjoyable when our innocently hilarious pets surround us with their comedic antics. Laughter is good for the soul, and with a pet around, you likely laugh often.

#9: Pets provide us with a sense of security

Your pet’s presence in your home may provide you with a sense of security and comfort, knowing your dog will bark if someone comes to your door. Although some pets would likely shower an intruder with kisses, you may feel less fear because they can alert you to danger, such as a stranger loitering on your front porch or in your backyard. Similarly, many people feel more comfortable out walking with their pets than by themselves.

#10: Pets make you a better person

Without trying, our pets help us become better versions of ourselves through their unconditional love, their pure innocence, and their fierce loyalty. No matter what’s happening in the world, having an adoring pet companion is a constant reminder to live mindfully, make time for cuddling, and enjoy every moment with the ones we love.

There is no denying the many advantages to living life with a pet by your side. To repay your pet for the many ways they improve your life, keep them in excellent health with regular veterinary care or find them a fun place to socialize with other pets when you’re at work. To find a veterinary practice or pet resort in your community, use this locator.

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