Why we should all own a pet

July 25, 2017

It is no secret that caring for a pet has a positive influence on our lives. Responsible pet ownership is immensely important and not every dog or cat is going to suit our individual circumstances.

It is important to remember pet ownership is a responsibility, not a privilege, but I believe there is a pet out there for everyone. The perfect pet for you may be a bird, a reptile, a fish or a horse.

Dogs and cats are of course the most common companion animals we take into our homes, and the local animal shelter is a great place to start when looking for a new mate.

Caring for a pet brings routine to our lives. This can be a positive thing for old and young people alike, but can also bring relief to busy working middle-aged people, starting or finishing the day with a morning or evening walk.

Many pets need regular exercise, and sharing this regular walk can have positive health implications for pet owners. People who spend a lot of their time alone gain immense joy from having a pet as a companion.

They can also bring a purpose to their life. Pets are becoming increasingly incorporated into aged care facilities and hospitals, which is wonderful because the benefits they can have to our health is undeniable.

Having a pet is a great conversation ice-breaker. In this day and age when we are all face down looking at our screens and starting a conversation can be tough, our pets break that barrier easily — whether it be at the park or down the street.

They are a great way to make new friends, whether they be Facebook friends or actual friends. Pets can bring great security — even little dogs or cats, or perhaps I should say especially little dogs and cats!

I still remember walking past a house when I was young and a tiny Jack Russell came bursting out of the bushes in the front yard and scared the living daylights out of me.

Research has shown pet ownership can be good for the heart and can reduce blood pressure. Pet therapy has been linked to a reduction in pain, depression and anxiety.

Owning a pet has been shown to reduce stress by increasing oxytocin levels to the brain and reducing cortisol levels. Pets can help smokers to quit and can stimulate our immune systems to help fight off the common cold.

Bringing your pet to work has been shown to reduce workplace stress. Some pets can even sniff out cancer. Pet ownership undoubtedly has positive effects on our health and day-to-day life but it also comes with great responsibilities.

Donating time to your local shelter may be another way to get your dose of pet medicine.

Do you have a positive story about pet companionship? Share you comments below with others. 

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