The Beneficial Pet
Have you ever asked yourself why we have pets, besides the most obvious of reasons? Yes they are all quite adorable but what is the real reason for having a pet or better yet what should we look for in a pet. Pets are not only a good source of love and friendship; they are also beneficial to our health. “According to the American Pet Products Association, 62% of U. S. households have a pet.” (Harris, D. /3/9/12/abc.go.com) The reasons we own pets can vary from home to home. The most common of reasons could be they make loyal, loveable friends. Others may say it’s to teach their children responsibility and how to take care of others. Bottom line is we need to make sure we are picking the right pet, and in order to do that research needs to be done, and questions need to be asked and answered. For instance, where do you live, do you own or rent, allergies, litter box? How much time will you be able to spend with the pet? Activity level, are you a high energy level person or more of a laid back type? Believe it or not but that plays a major role when picking a pet. Someone that is active and likes to be outdoors would benefit more from a dog to whereas someone that is more laid back and likes to spend time at home could look into a cat, a low energy type dog, or possible an aquarium. Not only do pets give us companionship and a loyal friend but they also provide us with a better chance at a healthier lifestyle. The mere act of petting a dog, a cat or just watch fish swim have been known to lower our blood pressure and lower our triglyceride and cholesterol levels. “Studies have shown that pet owners are less likely to die within 1 year of having a heart attack than those who do not own pets.” (McConnell, Allen/Brown, Christina/Friends with Benefits pg1, 2011) “1% vs. 7%, respectfully” (Friedman & Thomas, 1995) Pets also fulfill our basic need to touch, and make us less likely to suffer from depression. Another thing pet owners have also been known for is keeping a level head in a stressful situation compared to a non pet owner.
As a good pet owner there are certain things that generally have to change once you have brought your pet home. There has to be routine feeding times, play time, and exercise in order for your pet to have a healthy life. By adding these changes we are not only taking care of our pets, but we are creating more healthy habits for ourselves. Adding a few walks to our daily schedules is a great way for us to deal with stress and get some piece of mind along the way, not to mention helping us lose those unwanted pounds. For dog owners and some cat owners we know what could happen if a pet does not have an outlet for their pent up energy. They can become destructive or even aggressive toward people. By just implementing a few healthy lifestyle changes we can ease the symptoms of depression, stress, bi-polar disorder, PTSD, and anxiety. If you are a shy type but want to meet new people getting a dog would be a good idea, because dogs tend to be a social ice breaker. By taking your dog to the park or even a dog park you are more likely to talk to other dog owners. Other places you could take your dog to are pet stores, clubs, and even training classes which is more likely to expose a shy person to meeting new people but in a good way since they would be involved with others that share the same interest, their pets. Another benefit that a pet can bring to a person is giving them something to care for and take care of, this helps with those that suffer from depression. Having a sense of purpose along with a sense of needed and wanted can take the focus away from their problem and allows them to focus a more positive energy on their pet. Like I mentioned before, there are several different reasons as to why people get pets. The more common reason is