Sep 25

The Health Benefits of Having a Pet

Golden RetrieversMost people think of pets merely as furry playmates and companions. This is especially true for those who have never owned a pet or feel somewhat antagonistic towards animals. But ask any pet owner how their furry friends have impacted their lives and they will give you almost similar answers – very positively.

Psychologically, pets serve as form of therapy for treating depression, anxiety, anger issues, and even Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. One study proved that people with suicidal tendencies are less likely to commit suicide when they have a pet. Why? Well, having a pet is a lot like having a child you need to take care of. This sense of responsibility makes them feel hesitant to end their lives because they know their pets are depending on them. Of course, there is also the fact that pets, dogs especially, love their owners unconditionally. More than anything, it is this unconditional love that gives people suffering from depression the will to keep fighting.

War veterans are also advised to take on a pet to help them overcome Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Due to the fact that pets help in easing anxiety, veterans suffer less episodes. These days, there are organizations that train canines specifically for the purpose of helping veterans overcome PTSD. Aside from this, the sense of companionship that these canines bring can help a lot in easing someone who’s been through war back into society.

dog and babyThe health benefits of pets go beyond the psychological aspect of things. They offer physical and physiological benefits as well.

  1. Increases immunity and lessens allergic reactions in children.

A common misconception parents have about pets around the house is their children are at risk for developing asthma and other respiratory diseases. This has been disproved by scientists decades ago. Fact is, children who grow up in the company of pets are less likely to develop respiratory illnesses because they develop a natural immunity against allergens.

  1. Promotes an active lifestyle.

One of the best things about having a dog is you are obligated to get off the couch to take it out for a walk. If you choose to own a large breed canine such as a Golden Retriever, you automatically have an exercise buddy who will remind you each day that it’s time to go out for a walk or a jog in the park. Of course, the long term benefits of living an active lifestyle is obvious. Not only will it have a positive effect on your physique but you will also be at less risk of developing a cardiovascular disease.

  1. Reduces signs of aging.

Not many people know that pets are a natural remedy against signs of aging. Really, they are. How so? For one thing, they reduce stress and anxiety – two of the main causes of premature aging. Next, they encourage their owners to live an active lifestyle which helps in battling against diseases that develop as one ages. Lastly, they give joy and laughter to their owners. These euphoric feelings are very important to looking and feeling young.


If you don’t have a pet, it’s high time you start considering getting one. You don’t necessarily have to start with a dog or a cat right away. Take baby steps. Get a small aquarium with a Goldfish or two or a school of cichlids. Studies have shown that having an aquarium, even a fish bowl in fact, has been very therapeutic for those who are suffering from stress.