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  • Benefits of Having a Pet

    Anyone who owns a pet knows how great it feels to come home at the end of the work day to a dog that's slobberingly happy to see you or a cat who welcomes you with a quiet but insistent brush against your legs.

    That sense of unconditional love feels fantastic, and the great news is, the benefits of pet ownership don't end there! Having a pet gives us an incredible variety of emotional, social and physical benefits.

    Here are just a few!

  • Emotional

    A pet's unconditional love for its owner is the obvious emotional benefit of having a pet. That love can help us get through hard times, too - divorce, death or daily stress.

    Pets also give us something to focus on beyond ourselves, making us present in the here and now when we might otherwise be distracted by difficulties or problems.

  • Social

    If you've ever taken your dog for a walk around the block, you'll know - they're people magnets! Pet owners tend to be more extroverted and the benefit of that is that they can connect more quickly and easily with neighbors and other people they encounter at dog parks or other pet-friendly spaces. Chit-chat about our pets is definitely more interesting than small talk about the weather!

  • Physical

    The good feelings we get from our pets translate to health benefits, too. Many researchers have examined the links between pet ownership and a variety of medical conditions. They suggest that having a pet might lower your blood pressure, decrease your risk of heart disease, and decrease obesity. After all, our pets keep us active!

  • 70%

    of Americans own pets.

  • 98%

    of pet owners consider their pet to be an important part of the family.

  • 97%

    of physicians in family and general practice believe there are health benefits to having a pet.

  • 88%

    of pet owners agree doctors and specialists should recommend pets to patients for healthier living.

Sources:

hyper.ahajournals.org/38.4.815.full
Allen, Karen, Barbara E. Shykoff, and Joseph L. Izzo. "Pet ownership, but not ACE inhibitor therapy, blunts home blood pressure responses to mental stress." Hypertension 38.4 (2001): 815-820.

circ.ahajournals.org//content/circulationaha/early/2013/05/09/CIR.0b013e3189201e1.full.pdf
Levine, Glenn N., et al. "Pet Ownership and Cardiovascular Risk A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association." Circulation 127.23 (2013): 2353-2363.

habricentral.org/resources/34617"\t "_blank" Reeves, Matthew J., et al. "The impact of dog walking on leisure-time physical activity: results from a population-based survey of Michigan adults." J Phys Act health 8.3 (2011): 436-444.

bmcpsychiatry.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12888-016-1111-3" Brooks, Helen, et al.
Ontological security and connectivity provided by pets: a study in the self-management of the everyday lives of people diagnosed with a long-term mental health condition." BMC psychiatry 16.1 (2016): 409.

journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0122085" Wood, Lisa, et al. "The pet factor-companion animals as a conduit for getting to know people, friendship formation and social support." PloS one 10.4 (2015): e0122085.

psycnet.apa.org/record/2011-13783-001 "McConnel, Allen R., et al. "Friends with benefits: on the positive consequences of pet ownership." Journal of personality and social psychology 101.6 (2011): 1239.