I’ve grown up around plenty of pets my entire life. In fact, my mom has always been a part of animal rescue efforts. Needless to say, I know a thing or two about your average cat and dog. However, until recently, I was completely unaware that there are numerous proven health benefits that can come from caring for a furry friend or two. So, next time your kid starts begging you for either a kitten or puppy, take a moment to think it over before you simply shut them down (and inevitably crush their dreams). It’s actually pretty cool that the responsibility of owning a pet comes with both unconditional love and quite a few health benefits. After learning about five impressive health benefits of being an animal’s “furever” home, don’t be surprised if you find yourself at your local animal shelter, adopting a cat and a dog.
- Better Physical Fitness: If you thought your daily walks with Spot were for his own sake, think again. Staying active with your dog will maintain a healthy weight for your pet and possibly allow you to lose weight, if need be. Plus, engaging frequently in physical activities will help you have stronger bones and get your dose of vitamin D.
- Improved Social Skills: Anyone with pets knows how quickly they can become conversation starters. If you’re rather shy in social situations, a pet could help break the ice for you, and, ultimately, pave the way to getting more socialized. Heck, a trip to the dog park could even become an episode of Love Connection. Before you know it, your dog will have turned you into that one person who’s always the life of the party.
- Less Allergies and Asthma: I have neither allergies nor asthma. I’m not quite sure if it has anything to do with the fact that I’ve been exposed to animals for the past 22 years, but for a lot of people it does. Apparently, when we’re young, we can develop stronger immune systems as a result of being in that furry environment. Better immunity from allergies and asthma? I’ll take it. Thanks, Mom.
- Less Anxiety and Stress: Spending time with your beloved pet(s) has a calming effect. Once you’re done petting your mischievous feline friend, or watching your hamster run aimlessly on that spinning wheel, you’ll probably notice that you feel less anxious and stressed. It’ll be as if you’ve gained an endless supply of natural mood enhancers, once you’ve developed a strong bond with your pet; some people even get pets to fight off their symptoms of depression.
- Lower Blood Pressure: I truly don’t know how they do it, but pets seem to be somewhat magical. Pet owners tend to have lower blood pressure than those without pets. I’m not saying you can throw your diet and exercise plan out the window, but a pet could help the situation. I’m not implying anything, but I, a pet owner, always have great blood pressure readings (hint, hint). I’ll thank my kitty, Bruce Wayne, with can food tonight.