5 Benefits of Having Pets

It's obvious that pets are cute, but with how many people have them, there has to be more to it than that. For me, there has always been a pet in my home, ever since I was born. We've had a total of three dogs, one bunny and probably five fish. I cannot imagine what life without a pet would be like, and I don't understand how people could not want one. Without even realizing it, there are several ways that having pets has benefitted me, from improving my mental health, keeping my family active and boosting my mood in an instant. Here are some more benefits of having pets, if you're considering getting one (or another!)

  1. 1. You'll Never Be Alone

    Having a pet means always having a friend to keep you company. This is especially true with cats and dogs who need more care and activity than a fish. Pets are always waiting for you when you come home from school or work. They are always down to cuddle when you're sick or play when you get bored. If you live alone and feel lonely, getting a pet would probably help reduce that feeling. If you live with others, a pet also means others won't get lonely when you go out.

  2. 2. You'll Stay Active

    If you have a pet, especially a dog, you'll be more likely to be active since you will need to walk and play with them. Whether you go on hikes or trips to the park, going outside and getting active is great for you and your pet's health. Get outside, get moving and get those steps in – all while spending quality bonding time with your pet!

  3. 3. You'll Be Happy

    While there are stresses and serious aspects to consider when getting a pet, one of the main things they provide to their owners is happiness! Research has found that pet owners are less likely to suffer from depression, and playing with a pet can cause the release of serotonin and dopamine, which help you relax, especially if you're feeling stressed or anxious.

  4. 4. You'll Be Healthier

    Not only does having a pet help your mental wellbeing and physical activity, but some research has found physical health benefits associated with being a pet owner. According to HelpGuide.org, research has uncovered some key findings: Pet owners tend to have lower blood sugar, cholesterol and triglyceride levels. They are also more likely to lose weight and take fewer trips to the doctor's office. Pets can also help boost your immune system by encouraging play, laughter and exercise.

  5. 5. You'll Be More Responsible

    Owning a pet is a commitment, and you should not get one unless you feel ready to take on the responsibility of caring for an animal for years to come. If you are ready, owning a pet will be a great way to exercise and improve your responsibility. You are the one who has to feed them, walk them, care for them and keep them safe. For families, having a pet may be a good step before having a child, as well as a great way to teach your children responsibility once they are old enough to help out.

These are only some of the biggest ways that having a pet can benefit you and your life. If you don't want to get a cat or a dog, many other pets help instill these benefits by adding meaning, purpose, happiness and responsibility into your life, from hamsters to birds, and even snakes!