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The Top 20 Benefits of Being a Pet Parent

The Top 20 Benefits of Being a Pet Parent

There are 118 million households in the U.S., and 62% of them have a pet. More than half of those pet parents say their pets have a positive impact on their physical and emotional health. One of reasons pets are so therapeutic is because they fulfill one of our most basic needs—to touch. Here are the top 20 reasons why a pet can help make your life longer, happier and healthier:

  1. Pets can help relieve stress.
  2. Pets are fun and they can help alleviate boredom by providing companionship.
  3. Pets can help prevent heart disease and can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
  4. Pets can help those battling depression or anxiety and can improve emotional stability.
  5. Pets can provide a sense of security.
  6. Pets can increase levels of oxytocin, a naturally occurring chemical that encourages feelings of trust, empathy and bonding.
  7. Pets can help you live a longer, healthier, happier life.
  8. Pets, especially dogs, can be a buffer against social isolation or shyness by giving you a chance to interact with others. They're great date magnets too!
  9. The responsibility of pet parenting can be a great life lesson for kids, and having a pet in the home can also help foster emotional, social, cognitive and physical development.
  10. Pets provide the elderly with a daily sense of purpose.
  11. Dogs can help people get out and be active on a regular basis, thus elevating levels of serotonin and dopamine, which are known to have calming properties.
  12. Pets can be beneficial in helping people through life-changing events, such as chronic illness, job loss, divorce, death of a loved one and more. (However, these may not be the best times to get a new pet).
  13. Therapy pets can assist people of all ages with all types of disabilities.
  14. Some dogs have been trained to predict when their pet parent is going to have a seizure, when their pet parent has low blood sugar levels and more.
  15. Some studies have shown that children who grow up in households with pets might avoid developing allergies to pets later in life.
  16. Some believe that pets can help steer you away from foods you're allergic to.
  17. Pets can help teach empathy.
  18. Pets can help people through rehabilitation, especially therapy pets that visit those who are hospitalized long-term.
  19. You can always count on your pet being there for you when you need a confidante, when you need to share a secret or when you have feelings of anger, joy, sadness, fear or despair.
  20. Pets can provide hours of laughter and entertainment!