Mindful Owl Journal

Why Owning a Pet is Good For Your Health


What pet do you own? 

Whether it’s canine, feline, turtle, parrot, fish, hamster, rabbit, llama, lumpy dragon, or kangaroo, pet owners know how much life has become so much better for them with their animal companions.

It isn’t merely common knowledge that proves the benefits of animals to humans. A number of research and studies support this point. 

Truly, pets are good for your mental health and overall wellness. Do you know what it feels like to be Brad Pitt when he walks in a room? Well, that’s how it is when your dog sees you walk through the door from work or after a long holiday: You are their superstar! To have such unquestioning love and loyalty from a furry companion does wonders to your wellbeing.

Today, let’s take a closer look at why pets are important:

1) Pets offer opportunities for exercise and fitness. Your inactivity or lack of motivation to exercise can be solved when you own a pet (sorry, this may not apply to fish or bird owners though). Our canine and horse friends need to be taken out for daily runs or walks for their own wellbeing. Even a game of catch after a short walk to the park will do. Naturally, as you’re compelled to take your dog/horse outdoors, you become healthier as well: you’d enjoy improved physical strength and physique.

2) Pets offer stress relief. Studies show that people who own pets experience lesser stress than those who don’t own one. Our animal companions have the ability to up the happy hormone in our body. Once this hormone (oxytocin) is released, it attaches with the brain’s receptors to create a calming effect throughout the body. During stressful situations, pet owners experience lower heart rates and have a faster recovery from a spell of increased heart-rate. 

(Just a helpful tip, check out our 100% organic, chemical-free, ultra-soft bamboo TOWL collections to add to your stress-relief regimen).

3) Pets boost a child’s positive emotional development as well as self-esteem. This is yet one of the great benefits of having a pet for a child. When children are exposed to having pets around the house (and learn early on how to participate in caring for an animal), they develop a sense of responsibility and accomplishment. This does wonders to their self-esteem and emotional maturity.

4) They help decrease the risk for allergies in children. A research published in Clinical and Experimental Allergy proves this fact: the earlier children have exposure to pets, the higher are the chances of them NOT developing allergies as they grow older. This signifies that having a pet boosts a child’s immune system immensely.

(And, to help strengthen our child’s immune system, dry them with a chemical-free organic bamboo TOWL after showering. Toxins from textile mass-production lurk in the tiny fibers of the towels and clothes we give our children – which grossly harm their health.)

5) Pets help improve cardiovascular health. People who care for animals and keep them as friends experience lower risk of having heart problems. Pets have the ability to lengthen our life –this is true whether you have a chatty parrot or a lazy turtle in your living room. We enjoy a healthier heart largely because having domestic animals help lower the heart rate and blood pressure. 

6) They offer companionship. This is one of the big reasons why pets are important: they offer comfort and friendship to a grieving widow/widower, to a recovering alcoholic, to a lonely war veteran, to a sad college student who bid farewell to a childhood friend. Pet therapy is even used to help someone cope with (or recover from) a mental disorder, chronic post-surgery pain, and other health issues.

7) Pets can give you purpose and meaning. Being naturally social creatures, getting old alone is really tough for us humans. As people get older, we realize that nothing is permanent: we lose a spouse, our children leave home, and we retire from a job and suddenly find ourselves without a purpose in life. Having a pet renews that purpose, especially if it’s a rescued animal, knowing that we’re providing love and shelter to another creature. When we have meaning in life, it lessens our risk for depression as well.

So, if pets aren’t a part of your everyday life, try considering: how do animals help humans survive. If there are negative effects of having a pet, they’re far outweighed by the positives. 

The next time you pass by a pet shop, maybe you could pick one that will find a home in your heart.

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