Pet parents know that having a pet brings an incredible amount of happiness into their life. But caring for your doggo can also have an invaluable impact on your health and well-being. While properly caring for your pet is a big responsibility, you will also enjoy improvements in your physical health, emotional health, and even your social life! It may make you feel like you need your pet more than they need you!
Good for Your Heart and Overall Health
According to a study by Sweden’s Uppsala University, adopting a dog can lower your risk of cardiovascular disease, especially in people who live alone. Owning a pet has even shown to increase life expectancy. Whether you’re taking your pup on a daily walk around the block, taking him on a hike or to the dog beach, you are also taking care of your heart and increasing your physical activity. And hey, pets are great for your “emotional heart” as well!
Stress can have significant effects on your mental health and sense of well-being. It can make everything seem much more dire than it really is and leave you at an increased risk for things like depression and anxiety. Stress is often hard to get rid of, but it turns out that pets can help! According to the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation, a study showed that owning a pet can actually help diminish symptoms of stress on a long-term basis.
Sleep is important to both physical and mental health, and it can be particularly difficult to achieve quality sleep when you’re not in the right headspace. Did you know that sleeping with your pet could help? Many people find that they feel more comforted and secure with their pet in the room than they do without them. If you have trouble falling asleep and staying asleep, consider sharing some space with your pet to see if it helps. While it doesn’t prove effective for everyone, especially if you have a rambunctious pup, you may be surprised at how much your pet’s presence can help.
Improved Social Life
Looking to jump-start your social life? Get a dog. Walking your dog can help you connect with neighbors and meet new people. Many conversations – and friendships – begin at the dog park. While this, at first glance, may not seem crucial to your health, it is believed that people with more social connections often live longer. You can actually help reinforce your physical health as well as your social circle simply by taking good care of your furry friend and meeting people along the way.
A price cannot be put on the unconditional love your pet gives you. We all have to cope with stress and the unexpected twists and turns of life. However, the one thing you can always rely on is the love of a pet. Your dog will always be there waiting for you at the front door with an open heart and a wagging tail. That’s a great way to end the day.
Our pets need us to help take care of their physical health, but it turns out that they might give us more than we could ever hope to give them. Having a pet is great for your mental and physical health!
Meet our Guest Blogger:
Stephanie James is a dog-walker by day and freelance writer by night, who covers a variety of topics, including holistic health for both pets and owners. To read more work by Stephanie, connect with her on Twitter @sjaywrites13.