A Friendship Like No Other: 10 Benefits of Pet Ownership

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As a pet owner, you likely consider your four-legged friend part of the family. In fact, your cat or dog may be your favorite family member—don’t worry, we won’t tell! Pet ownership is on the rise, as more and more people realize the numerous benefits of sharing life with a furry companion. During the pandemic, many people—particularly single, younger people living alone—welcomed a pet into their home as a barrier against loneliness, boredom, and social isolation. But, pets provide many benefits in addition to their boredom-busting skills. Here are 10 perks of pet ownership.

#1: Owning a pet results in a significantly lower death risk from cardiovascular diseases

study of more than 2,400 cat owners concluded in a 20-year follow-up that those owners had a significantly lower risk for death from cardiovascular diseases, including stroke and heart attack, compared with non-owners. Owning a pet encourages people to be more active, which improves cardiovascular health. If you engage in daily exercise with your four-legged pal, you likely have a healthier cardiovascular system than your non-pet-owning friends.

#2: Pet ownership naturally decreases high blood pressure

In a study of people with mildly elevated blood pressure, a dog or cat’s presence significantly impacted blood pressure. When compared with people who did not own pets, those with dogs had a much lower diastolic and systolic blood pressure. Pet ownership naturally decreases blood pressure more than medication alone.

#3: Pets act as a buffer to stress

In a study testing stress reactivity in married couples, people with pets had substantially lower resting heart rates and blood pressure. When presented with a mental arithmetic problem, the pet owners’ heart rate and blood pressure while solving the problem was significantly lower, and returned to baseline levels faster. This study demonstrates how pet ownership helps you battle stress in all areas of your life, promoting a healthier cardiovascular system through reduced stress. 

#4: A cat’s purring helps heal bones, tendons, and muscles

Your cat’s purring is not only comforting when you are ill, but can also help your body heal. A cat’s purr creates vibrations at 12 to 140 HZ frequency, and studies have shown that frequencies in the 18 to 35 HZ range positively affect joint mobility after injury. So, if you sprained your ankle or fractured your wrist, load up your lap with your purring cat, and you’ll be healed in no time.

#5: Your pet in your bed helps you sleep better

Several studies performed in the United Kingdom have found that people—especially women—prefer to sleep with their cats rather than their partners. The studies also reported that people sleep better with a cat rather than a person in their bed. Although you may think your pet will disturb your sleep, especially a cat who begs for a middle-of-the-night snack, a cuddly companion appears more ideal than one who snores. 

#6: Pet exposure early in life protects against allergies

Growing up with a cat or dog teaches responsibility, kindness, and compassion, and can also help prevent allergy development. Pet exposure not only protects against allergies to pets, but also reduces allergy development to other common allergens, such as dust mites, ragweed, and grass. 

#7: Petting a cat or dog releases mood-boosting hormones

When you spend time with your four-legged friend, you likely notice an improvement in your mood. Simply gazing into their eyes can release oxytocin, the “feel-good” hormone, and petting your cat or dog boosts this hormone production more. Essentially, the more time you spend with your pet, the better you feel. 

#8: Watching cat videos has positive benefits

Did you know that those hours you spend watching cat videos on YouTube or Facebook have legitimate benefits? Watching videos of funny and adorable pets boosts your energy and positive emotions, and reduces negative stress and depression. 

#9: Owning a pet helps you connect with other people

In this technology-focused world, making real-life connections with other people who aren’t online can be tough. However, pet ownership can provide a foundation for friendship with other like-minded individuals. Talking about your four-legged companion can break the ice with a new person, and give you something in common to continue the relationship.

#10: Working in a pet-friendly office has multiple benefits

Working remotely during the pandemic has been great for pet owners, and heading back to the office and leaving your cat or dog behind was no doubt extremely difficult. But, if you work in a pet-friendly environment where you can take your furry pal, you can reap the benefits of a four-legged coworker. Allowing pets in the office has been proven to improve employee engagement and retention, reduce their stress levels, and increase their productivity. Pets also help create a more unified team that collaborates well together, since pets make starting a conversation easy, and are great social facilitators.

Show your pet how much you cherish your bond by keeping them happy and healthy through regular wellness care. Contact Neighborhood Vets Mobile Care to schedule your four-legged friend’s appointment.