If you are experiencing any health issues or if you suffer from chronic illness, adopting a pet may have therapeutic benefits. There are numerous advantages to owning a pet—whether it is a dog, cat, ferret, or even a fish. Don't wait another day to give a pet a home, while reaping the health benefits that pet-ownership brings.
The health benefits of adopting a pet include:
Reduces stress. It has been shown that spending time with pets lowers stress, which means it could be good for reducing blood-pressure and alleviating anxiety. The repercussions of stress are significant; the American Psychological Association reports that chronic stress is correlated to the six major causes of death: heart disease, cancer, lung issues, accidents, cirrhosis, and suicide.
Provides sense of purpose. Taking care of a pet provides purpose for those that may be experiencing depression, hopelessness, or empty-nest syndrome. This can be remarkably life-changing for those that live alone, are isolated, or who have experienced a recent loss.
Combats loneliness. The companionship of a pet battles loneliness and can help improve quality of life. Loneliness can lead to isolation, which has serious impacts on functioning. For example, loneliness is attributed to causing poor sleep, stress, and exacerbating the normal aging process.
Gives assistance. Some pets are trained to complete specific tasks and aid individuals with mobility issues, serious illness, or chronic conditions. This includes therapy animals for diabetics, the visually-impaired, and those fighting mental health issues, such as post-traumatic stress disorder. Talk to your physician if you feel that a therapy or support pet would improve the quality of your life.
Increases socialization. Engaging with a pet, such as walking a dog, improves socialization and gets owners out and about. This activity can spark acquaintances and friendships with individuals that you see along the way. Dog parks are a great place to meet other like-minded pet-owners while also letting your dog get some interaction, too.
Encourages exercise. The therapeutic benefits of pet-ownership include encouraging exercise, which can get you up and off the couch. Walking a do—and even a cat—will help with behavioral issues that can be an issue with bored pets, while also getting owners to move more and improve blood-flow.
So, what's stopping you from getting a pet? It is worth paying a visit to your doctor to determine if you could benefit from the therapeutic support of a companion animal. If you already are a pet-owner, you now have documented proof of the life-changing benefits that these furry family members can bring!