The health benefits of owning a pet

By: Health Local Staff Mar 19, 2012
health benefits of owning a pet

Ways in which pets are helping to improve the health of their owners every single day.

There’s a reason that they call a dog man’s best friend. You may not realize it, but owning a pet is one of the most wonderful things you can do for your health. These little creatures do require work on your part of course, but they can pay it back in some extraordinary benefits for your short and long term health.

Many look to their family pet as a source of companionship, but it doesn’t stop there. You can find many ways that a pet can help you to feel balanced and even to rely upon through rough times. If you needed a reason before, tune into these ways in which pets are helping to improve the health of their owners every single day.

Help in the Healing Process

This is what more and more people are starting to recognize as the most apparent benefit that pets may offer to their owners. Those that are going through an ailment, illness, or injury are finding that their pet may be an excellent source of comfort. The pet helps to offer a sense of empathy, of comfort, and they can even help in nursing their owner back to health.

Not only that, but in some instances it has been said that dogs and cats can even sense when something is amiss in their owners. Though it is a long shot, some pets can pick up on an imbalance within the body and work towards their owners getting proper medical attention and diagnosis.

Many patients going through the healing process from a major surgery or disease such as cancer are told to get a pet or to rely on this special member of the family. They can provide a level of support that nobody else can and therefore prove to be instrumental in guiding the individual through recovery.

Emotional Support

Have you ever found yourself talking to your pet and felt silly? Well next time it happens, don’t because there really is something to it. First of all, it is an actual living creature, so it sure beats talking to the wall. It goes much further than that, in the fact that pets can be an excellent source of emotional support.

Think about it—when you have a bad day there’s nothing like being greeted at the door by your lovable and loyal little friend, right? Well that’s just one example of the way in which a pet can offer support and allow you to balance out mentally. Many pet owners will tell you that when everything else was going wrong in their life, having a quick chat and snuggle with their pet proved quite valuable.

Pets love their owners unconditionally and they are the most loyal creatures that one may find in their life. Many who suffer from emotional or mental illnesses are told to get a pet as they can help with the balance. Pets can help with depression and anxiety and can really allow an unbiased source to talk to and rely upon. Your mental health counts just as much as your physical health and this is a fantastic benefit!

Help to Keep You Social and Active

Another key element for which you can rely on pets for your health is to keep you active and on the go. You will not likely succumb to obesity if you have a dog that needs a walk everyday. You are much more likely to get up and go, which is good for your physical and mental health.

Dogs in particular love to take walks and are very social animals. If you have a dog you are more likely to be active and that means some great exercise. You may hit the dog park or other hot spots in town that can add to your social life.

What many people don’t realize is that owning a pet like a dog can make the get up and go much easier. You have a reason for being active and another potential outlet for your social life. Therefore, the balance is much easier and the opportunities for socializing are far more plentiful. For a healthier and happier version of your current self, turn to your family pet for a great pick me up!

The Health Local Staff is a team of writers and experts dedicated to bringing you the latest health, nutrition and lifestyle information at