Why Having A Pet Makes You Happier
Having a pet can dramatically increase the quality of your life. Scientific studies indicate that people who own pets gain some unique benefits. Your pet can boost your emotional, mental and physical health. Pets generally increase the bliss that we experience in life. Here are 10 reasons why having a pet will make you a better and happier person.
Pets are a big responsibility. Not only do they demand regular meals and a steady supply of fresh water, but they have to be cleaned up after constantly, too. Depending on the species, they may also require frequent walks, a steady supply of mice or a daily changing of the newspaper at the bottom of their cages. Caring for a pet is like raising a child but without the eagerly awaited emancipation stage.
Yet despite the tedium, an astonishing number of furry, scaly or creepy crawly critters have managed to work their way into our homes. In the United States, 63 percent of households harbor at least one pet. That works out to approximately 71.1 million homes and an astonishing 382.2 million animals [source: American Pet Products Association]. They’re not cheap, either: According to the American Pet Products Association, pet owners will spend upward of $45.4 billion on pet charges in 2009.
So what’s the justification for this madness? With all the attention and money lavished on them, what do pets offer in return? Well, plenty, actually. Pets are a pretty wise investment. It appears that what pet owners sacrifice in terms of time and money, they get back in better health and increased happiness. Sure, you pet owners out there have known your pets make you happy all along. But now a growing body of research is here to back you up.
The pet Rx appears to work in a number of ways. For one thing, pet ownership tends to prompt people to adopt a multitude of healthy behaviors. Take a pet’s need to be fed and taken outside every few hours, for instance. That responsibility gives pet owners purpose and makes them feel needed, improving their senses of self worth. It also forces them to get off the couch and go for a walk every now and then, boosting both health and happiness.
1. You become more responsible in life
By getting a pet, you effectively take on the responsibility of maintaining the life of another creature. You have to feed your pet, clean it, ensure that it is healthy and give it enough exercise too. Doing this encourages you to be more responsible at your workplace, around your family and in other areas of your life too. This makes you a better person.
2. Pets can make you bond better with the community
Pets are well known to be effective ice-breakers. When you are walking your dog or your playing with your cat outside, people are more likely to stop and say hi to you. Neighbors and passers-by will comment on how cute your pet is. They are also likely to tell you about their pets and thus you find yourself in a rewarding conversation. Therefore, pets help you to know more about the members of your community and boost your social life. This makes you a happier person.
3. You are able to handle pressure and the challenges of life in a better way
Did you know that your pet can give you hope when you are going through some dark times in life? According to psychologists, making a positive effect in the life of another while we are going through challenges is therapeutic in nature. This means that caring for your pet when you are facing tribulations in life can make you feel better. Over time, this helps you to build emotional strength and makes you a better person.
4. Pets make you more active
There are many activities that you can perform with your pet. Examples of these are tossing a ball in the park with your dog or even dancing around with your cat. These activities are good exercise and improve your cardiovascular health. Moreover, they boost your mood and improve your levels of energy. According to statistics, people who own dogs walk for 79% longer than those who don’t own any. Consistently performing these exercises will make you a healthier, happier person.
5. You increase your communication skills
Your pet can’t talk to you. Therefore, you have to communicate with it in other ways such as gestures or touch. This broadens your non-verbal communication skills. It also helps you to become a more patient listener. In these ways, you become a better person.
6. Pets can relax you and make you calm
A wonderful fact about our furry friends is that they can help us to become calm, relaxed and stress-free. Studies have been done to confirm that having a pet helps you to maintain a stable heart rate in stressful situations. Pets reduce your stress levels and make you a happier person.
7. Getting a pet helps you to love yourself more
Psychologists all over the world agree that pets can promote self-love and increase self esteem. Do you suffer from mild depression? Get a pet and experience unconditional love. People who own pets are much less lonely. This leads to happiness and appreciation for their pets and themselves. In this way, they become better people.
8. Pets are natural boosters for your moods
Did you know that playing with your pet literally boosts your moods? We all have a neurotransmitter in our brains that is known as dopamine. It is associated with reward and pleasure. When you play with your pet, this hormone is released and its levels increase in your body. This makes you feel calm, peaceful and much happier.
9. Pets help you to become more affectionate
The gestures that you make when interacting with your pet, can make you more affectionate in the long term. Cleaning your pet and playing with it are expressions of genuine love and care. By performing them regularly, you find yourself extending this expression to your human counterparts. In this way, you become a more affectionate, better person.
10. You become more empathetic by having a pet
Behavioral psychologists agree that people who had pets as kids grow into adults who are much more empathetic. They developed the skills on how to nurture and give attention by taking care of their pets. As such, they carry these skills into adulthood and have more fulfilling relationships. This effectively makes them happier people.