Home Selfcare Benefits of Having Pets!

Benefits of Having Pets!

by Leyou Jiang

According to Forbes, Pet ownership has increased substantially in the United States — increasing from 56% to 66% of American homes from 1988 to 2023 — due to a multitude of factors:

 

  • Rise of Pet Insurance

The pet insurance industry has been on a steady rise for the past few years — “doub[ling] in growth from 2018 to 2021”. Just like regular insurance, pet insurance prevents paying in full for unexpected emergencies.

  • Generational Increases

With each successive generation in America, the percentage of pet ownership increases: Millennials (33%), Gen X (25%), and baby boomers (24%).

  • Greater emphasis on saving rescues

With greater efforts to save rescue animals and adopt them, pet ownership naturally rose.

But why are pets so important to our daily lives? Research actually shows that pets have massive benefits to our health — mentally, physically, and socially. 

  • Mental Health

Having a companion in life is important to us — humans are social creatures. During hard or stressful times, you can always count on your pet to be there for you with unconditional love. According to a UCLA study of 148 college women, people who owned pets had lower loneliness scores and were generally happier. Pets also give us a sense of purpose: Feeding them, walking them, and taking care of them can help alleviate various mental health conditions. To summarize, pets help reduce stress and loneliness and help give us purpose in our lives.

 

  • Physical Health

Pets also help our physical health — an obvious example being dog-walking. Research shows that children growing up with pets develop allergen and bacteria immunities — especially children who grow up with farm animals. It has also shown that just having a pet will reduce the production of the stress hormone cortisol. Pet owners have fewer cardiovascular problems as well as lower blood pressure. 


  • Social Health

Pets also provide a certain degree of social support. They are perfect icebreakers to use in conversations and can provide connections between people. They also provide opportunities to meet new people, make new friends, and even meet your neighbors walking their dogs. 

 

Overall, pets have many health benefits, whether physical, mental, or social.

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