Pet Ownership is Good For Your Health

The companionship afforded by our pets is widely recognized, but, recently, research has been carried out to confirm the therapeutic advantages of sharing your life with an animal. In fact, benefits of pet ownership include increased physical and mental well-being. In turn, it is believed that people who have pets are typically happier and are likely to live longer than their non-pet owning counterparts are.

The Problem of Pet Allergies

Obviously, this does not extend to those with allergies or phobias. If you are scared of, or allergic to, your animal then, clearly, it is unlikely to have a positive effect on either physical or mental wellbeing.

However, pet allergies can be overcome if you still wish to welcome a pet into your life. For example, many people can find a pet that does not cause an allergic reaction, such as fish, lizards or snakes. On the other hand, there is the option of allergy shots, which can reduce the reaction caused by pet hair, feathers and fur, but this should always be discussed with a medical professional.

Health Benefits of Pets

The principle benefit of pet ownership is a positive effect on a human's level of stress. It is believed that stress levels are markedly reduced by the presence of an animal. In turn, this leads to healthier blood pressure and less chance of a heart attack, or other medical issues connected with stress. Additionally, conditions such as depression are believed to be alleviated by pet ownership. Moreover, biologists believe that the deterioration of Alzheimer's patients can be reduced with the help of a pet in the house.

In fact, elderly people are thought to be particularly helped by owning an animal, because a pet provides a source of company. Therefore, a pet ensures that feelings of loneliness are decreased. Additionally, a pet can offer a sense of purpose, which is crucial to all human beings. For those who live alone, it is nice to feel needed and wanted.

Of course, there are many other therapeutic benefits to pet ownership. For example, it is recognized that the routine required when looking after an animal is good for psychological wellbeing. In addition, a dog's requirement for daily exercise gives its owner a workout and, as is widely recognized, the health benefits of fresh air. Simply walking a dog can help an owner to control his, or her, weight and provide much needed activity, which releases endorphins (otherwise known as the happy hormone).

Moreover, having a pet that is always pleased to see you can be infinitely good for your health. The bond between animals and humans is incredible and is thought to have homeopathic benefits. Many owners look upon their pets as members of the family and an overwhelming high proportion admit to talking to their animals. In other words, although the companionship of animals should not be a replacement for human friends and family, the unconditional love provided by them is incredibly good for our mental health.

Responsibility of Pet Ownership

On the other hand, it is important for all pet owners to realize the great responsibility involved in taking on an animal of any kind. No pet should be purchased purely for the potential health benefits. In addition, owners should not be fooled into thinking that more pets will offer greater therapeutic benefits. In fact, the reverse can be true, because you may be overwhelmed by the work to look after multiple animals. Typically, one or two pets are ample to produce a discernible improvement in overall health.

Most importantly, it is crucial for potential pet owners to recognize the life-long commitment that an animal requires. Therefore, it is wise to research your pet of choice and ensure that he, or she, is the right animal for your house.