Health Benefits From Adopting a Pet

4 minute read

By Chelsea Dolan

If you’ve been debating whether or not to adopt a pet, there are plenty of reasons to go through with it. You and your pet can improve each others’ lives. Start a search today to discover the many health benefits involved with adopting a pet.

Aside from rescuing a pet and giving them a forever home, you could benefit greatly by becoming a pet owner. Regardless of the type of pet you choose, the research is clear: your life will change for the better!

Studies Show Improved Health

Owning a pet brings a lot of change to your life. You walk them, play with them, and rely on them for companionship.

Since this becomes a daily part of your routine, it can lead to some positive impacts on your health. Specifically, the CDC says having a pet can lead to decreased:

Pets Help With Stress

If you’re dealing with stress on a regular basis, a pet could help you feel better. An article from the National Institute of Health explains how interacting with animals can decrease levels of a stress-related hormone called cortisol.

Whether it be watching fish swim, petting a purring cat, or being active with a pup, there are several ways pets can help ease your stress levels.

They Can Help You Feel Less Lonely

Forbes reports that one in five Americans feel lonely or self isolated. Bringing a pet into your home is like getting a new family member and friend. You spend tons of time with them, which can be beneficial for preventing loneliness. Having a pet in the home can help ease some of that loneliness, especially for those who live alone.

Having a pet also increases opportunities for socialization. You can bond with fellow pet owners over your shared experiences and find people with like-minded interests. Plus, taking your dog out in public will likely increase interactions with strangers and make you feel more social in day-to-day life.

Pet Owners Are More Active

It’s important for dogs to go on walks and get daily exercise. Because of this, dog owners can achieve improved fitness levels.

In fact, reports that dog owners are 34 percent more likely to fit 150 minutes of walking per week than those without dogs. Even the quality of exercise can be better because of the consistency, distance, and speed involved with walking a dog.

Pets May Prevent Kids From Developing Allergies

You probably know at least one person that’s allergic to dog or cat fur. While this is an unfortunate experience, you could prevent your kids from developing these types of allergies by owning a pet.

The New York Times reports that children living with dogs and cats are less likely to develop allergies later in childhood. This information comes from a Swedish study that found allergy reports declined steadily with an increasing number of pets in the household.

Dogs May Help You Live Longer

If you’re looking for ways to increase your lifespan, consider getting a dog. That’s because owning a dog has been linked with living longer, according to a study reported by USA Today.

Overall, the study looked over data involving three million participants and found that dog owners were likely to live longer than those who didn’t have dogs. In fact, the study revealed that dog owners had a 24 percent risk reduction for death from any cause.

This statistic is being credited to the amount of physical activity people get from walking their dog. Other factors that could influence this conclusion include avoiding smoking or drinking alcohol.

Improved Immune System Function

Regular interaction with pets can have a profound impact on the immune system. This benefit is often most visible in households with pets, where members, especially children, tend to develop stronger immune responses over time. Pets, particularly dogs and cats, expose their owners to a variety of microbes and allergens, which can help the body build a better defense against illnesses.

This exposure can lead to a more robust immune system, reducing the frequency and severity of common illnesses like colds and flu. Additionally, research has shown that pet owners, on average, have lower levels of stress-related hormones like cortisol, which can suppress immune function. The emotional bond and the physical activity involved in caring for a pet can also contribute to a stronger immune system.

Find a Local Animal Shelter Online

Adopting a cat or dog is a worthwhile experience. It’s a mutually beneficial relationship in more ways than one — a pet gets rescued from the shelter and you can take advantage of some health major benefits.

There are millions of animals waiting to find their forever home right now. To rescue a pet, search online for local animal shelters. You can browse profiles to learn about each animal’s personality and find out whether they could be a good fit for your family.

Chelsea Dolan