By Jane Marsh
Guest Writer for Wake Up World
People love having pets because they make life more fun. You can adopt a best friend who’s there for you and plays with your kids, but animals can do more for their owners than make them smile. This guide explains how animals are essential for our health and why people may not notice these subtle but positive ways they change our lives.
These factors could help you decide to adopt your family’s first pet or add another animal to your home. It depends on what you want for your life. See if you or your loved ones would benefit from these positive health changes that come with adopting pets of all kinds.
1. They Bring Us Joy
When you get home from work and walk into an empty house, it’s easy for anxious or depressing thoughts to overwhelm you while you eat dinner or prepare for the next day. That all changes when a puppy hops around, begging for hugs and kisses right inside the front door.
Your cat may lounge on your lap after dinner or a bunny could hop around your kids on the floor. Their presence is enough to make anyone smile and experience more joy than they would in an empty home.
2. They Keep Us Moving
You might chase your pet around the house so you can bathe them or take them on daily walks. Animals keep their owners moving, which strengthens your immune system. Walking is also known as a leisure exercise because it doesn’t necessarily make you lose your breath. A recent study found that people who walked at least three times each week reduced the risk of colds by 26% because the aerobic exercise strengthened their immune cells along with their blood flow.
3. They Teach Responsibility
Maybe you’re daydreaming about bringing fish home from the pet store. You may think they can’t do anything for your health, but they teach the crucial skill of responsibility. Every time you feed them or clean their aquarium, you’ll practice thinking about what they need and how to give those things to them.
You’ll apply that same thought pattern to yourself and your loved ones by becoming more responsible for your needs and your family. It could result in proactively scheduling doctor’s appointments or signing up for flu shots when you wouldn’t have participated in those responsible forms of self-care.
4. They Make You Stronger
If you love riding horses, you’ll need to strengthen your muscles with weight training to stay in control in the saddle. Your core and leg muscles keep you upright and help guide the horse where you need to go. Exercising and gaining muscle gives you better stamina because you’ll become healthier. It’s a lifestyle change you might not think to do if you don’t love animals like horses.
5. They Lower Blood Pressure
Hanging out with your pet will lower your blood pressure because of their calming presence. One study found that people who relaxed in the same space as dogs experienced lower blood pressure readings than people who took prescribed medications like an ACE inhibitor.
High blood pressure can decrease blood and oxygen flow by making your blood vessels less elastic. Your major organs could all suffer from long-term high blood pressure and even result in heart attacks or organ failure. Animals mitigate the effects of this condition along with any medication your doctor recommends.
6. They Need Social Activities
Animals bring people together in places where you might not otherwise visit. You could ride horses with friends or take your dog to the park. People who interact with other people regularly maintain their mental well-being as they get older. They’re less likely to experience memory loss, which may significantly benefit individuals with generational memory loss conditions in their families.
7. They Reduce Anxiety
Anxiety affects everyone differently. Some people get lightheaded and need rest, while others struggle to digest food because anxiety inflames their nervous system. Having an animal companion means you always have someone who will listen when you’re upset or cuddle when you’re sad. Reducing anxiety improves your mental well-being, so it’s another way animals are essential for maintaining your overall health.
8. They Call Attention to Nutrition
Some animals are allergic to specific ingredients in foods and treats. Others will eat anything, but you’ll still pay more attention to what they eat because you want the best for them. You may even begin checking nutrition labels while you’re at the grocery store for yourself. Making better diet choices like skipping processed foods or chemical ingredients will make your diet just as healthy as the organic ingredients you’ll want to serve to your pets.
Animals Are Essential For Our Health
Pets play an essential role in their owners’ lives. They become your best friend, a source of motivation and even a positive influence on your well-being. These are just a few ways animals are essential for our health, so think about the many ways a pet could improve your life if you’re considering bringing one home.
Recommended articles by Jane Marsh:
- 10 Ways You can Help Wildlife in Your Backyard
- 10 Tips for Living an Eco-Friendly Life With Your Pet
- 10 Physical and Mental Benefits of Houseplants
- How Switching to a Pescatarian Diet Benefits the Planet
- Should You Have Renewable Energy Installed in Your Home?
- 10 Ways to Increase Your Home’s Sustainability This Winter
- The Best Sustainable Resolutions for 2021
- How You Can Cut Carbon From Your Diet
- 10 Ways to Reduce Your Waste this Holiday Season
About the author:
Jane is the founder and editor-in-chief of Environment.co where she shares practical tips on how to live a greener life.