Animal companions can provide an endless list of positive changes in our lives. They make us feel many things, including loved and protected, protective, responsible and so much more.
Many people also take better care of themselves because they want to keep their beloved pets happy and healthy. Keeping that in mind, a whopping 44% of households in the UK have pets. It’s remarkable how one-on-one different relationships are with each animal companion, but here are some of the many benefits that these cuddly friends of ours provide to their owners around the world.
Health and fitness
Everybody benefits from pets. Whether you’re a child, an adult or have a disability, having a pet reduces the likelihood of heart troubles and makes it easier to stay healthy and in shape. Pets are also known to reduce your chances of developing allergies, mental disorders and diseases like diabetes. Plus, dogs can sniff out life-threatening illnesses and give people the motivation they need to stay active.
Pets are beneficial in many ways. Dogs, cats and other animals help to reduce stress and lift our mood, which can be thanks to the countless happy chemicals they release.
The rewards of having a pet don’t just stop there, though; pets have been proven to help people in hospitals and care homes experience catharsis and/or feel more positive emotions overall. In fact, Blue Cross has seen firsthand how pets provide therapy for those who need it most by rehoming dogs that now work as therapy animals.
Pet ownership is becoming more and more popular. Thirty-one percent of pet owners in a recent survey said that their first best friend was their pet. Pets make us laugh, cheer us up when we’re feeling low and are there for us when we need someone to listen. They never judge us, and provide comfort even when times are tough.
Pets can become our soulmates without having to go on a date, and get us out exploring the world with them. Almost one-quarter of pet owners recently surveyed by Blue Cross said they met somebody while out with their four-legged friend.
People sometimes find companionship in anything they’re familiar with, which can be a pet. For some people, pets aren’t just their best friends – they are their sole companions.
Loneliness affects millions of people of all ages, and pets give those who feel isolated a sense of routine and purpose. Their owners are often inspired to get up and move around when they feel lonely – going for a workout or playing with the pet. That’s why Blue Cross encourages all elderly care homes to implement clear policies concerning pets and, wherever possible, allow residents to bring them along into care so that ill-timed transfers are not necessary. After all, the animal may also be a last link to memories with loved ones who have passed on.
Pets make wonderful role models because they live life to the fullest without too many restrictions. They are often more effective than celebrity workout videos, social media fitness experts or other inspirational measures in motivating people to achieve their healthy living and wellbeing goals. Indeed, pets only drink water and exercise every day. They sleep well and with responsible owners, they typically eat a healthy diet.
If you’re looking for a personal workout buddy, animal friends can be a great source of motivation. They don’t drink water, watch TV, or eat away hours on social media. Pets are also more likely to inspire people to reach their healthy lifestyle goals than celebrity trainers or fitness experts. With responsible owners, they don’t even require attention while they sleep.
Almost 2/3rds of those surveyed by Blue Cross agreed that their pets would inspire them to achieve their healthy living ambitions. For legendary figures around the world, it was their pets that inspired them to launch successful fields and professions in science, history, and medicine.