The closest I came to having a pet growing up was a tank full of fish. However, I always loved my best friend’s basset hound and standard poodle. Later, when I saw the movie, ‘Regarding Henry’, I was taken with the adorable beagle puppy that Harrison Ford brought home. Skip to years later, when I was first married. I hatched a plan to just get my husband to the beagle farm — I knew if I accomplished this, we would not leave that farm without a puppy!
Maybe if I had known all of the proven benefits to owning a pet, it would have been an easier challenge to convince him. In addition to numerous health benefits, with the growing number of species allowed as pets across the country, there is truly a pet for everyone! So the choices exceed cats and dogs, guinea pigs, snakes, birds and bunnies, with the more unusual options including ferrets, iguanas and mini-pigs, just to name a few!
Here is why you should consider a pet:
- Pets make people content, feel safe and can provide excellent companionship.
- Dog owners are more likely to get outside and exercise than those without dogs. These owners are also more apt to be sociable as walking one’s dog always leads to interactions with other people with pets.
- Caring for a pet provides a healthy structure to one’s day.
- Pets lower our blood pressure. Even watching fish has benefits!
- Studies show that cats and dogs are good for our hearts! Cat owners have fewer strokes and dog owners, fewer heart attacks!
- Having a pet, keeps all of us, including Alzheimer’s patients, calmer. Our bodies actually undergo chemical changes that cause a drop in our anxiety levels.
- For those suffering from depression, doctors often prescribe adopting a pet!
- If you are a pet owner over 65, chances are that you make 30 percent fewer visits to your doctors than non-pet owners.
- Whether or not you can speak, people can communicate with their pets.
- Service dogs are of course well known for helping us and can be trained to assist with blind, diabetic, epileptic, wheelchair bound and autistic patients.
- Being raised with pets often reduces kids’ risk of allergies, asthma and Eczema.
- Caring for pets teaches lessons of responsibility and love.
If you do not yet have a pet, please consider adopting one. Just remember to do your research and find a pet that meets your needs and vice versa!