An animal companion can add structure and purpose to your life, and promote exercise as well as contact with nature for health benefits that include improved mood and reduced blood pressure.
Children can learn responsibility and empathy from helping to look after animals, not to mention how entertaining they can be in breaking the ice when meeting new people.
1. It’s a great way to bond with your kids
Pets can be invaluable companions for children, teaching them responsibility while simultaneously offering companionship. Pets may even help improve mood while serving as motivation to exercise if used as activity or play companions.
Kids can increase their sense of pride in themselves by caring for a pet, which teaches them the joys of nurturing others while increasing self-esteem. Dogs, cats, hamsters and gerbils all provide invaluable social development tools!
Pets can be an ideal way to meet new people, as the mere mention of your animal can serve as a good icebreaker. Furthermore, pets are enjoyable companions who help relieve stress and anxiety.
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2. It’s a great way to get some exercise
Pet care helps improve mental health. Pets offer companionship, playfulness and affection that can ease feelings of loneliness for people working from home. Caring for a pet provides structure, motivation and a sense of achievement – in turn providing comfort and reducing symptoms in those experiencing anxiety or depression.
Owning a dog can have a substantial beneficial effect on one’s physical health as it forces owners to exercise regularly and stay active through daily walks with the pup. Walking daily helps maintain heart health and lower blood pressure. In addition, bonding with a pup boosts oxytocin production which stimulates positive feelings of wellbeing – something which could combat loneliness among older individuals who live alone, leading to worse health outcomes and premature deaths.
3. It’s a great way to socialise your kids
Caretaking of a pet is a great way for kids to learn the value of selflessness and empathy. Additionally, caring for an animal helps develop nurturing skills essential for a healthy childhood development.
Petting a dog can help people connect socially, as they’re naturally friendly creatures who appreciate being petted – this study shows how petting them reduces production of stress hormones!
Pet ownership can help improve your health in several ways, from keeping active to encouraging good nutrition and weight management. But remember, pets shouldn’t replace professional healthcare; in case of acute issues it is always wise to see your doctor immediately.
4. It’s a great way to stop your kids developing certain allergies
Pet ownership could not only benefit your mental wellbeing, but could also help stave off certain allergies. A new study suggests that children exposed to cats and dogs during gestation and early infancy were approximately 15% less likely to develop food allergies as adults than children who weren’t raised with animals.
Pediatric allergy specialists believe the reasoning for this may lie with exposure to furred animal dander in early childhood leading to decreased risks for developing food allergies later on. However, the study results should be taken with a grain of salt due to it being conducted on surveys rather than medical tests.
Though keeping pets is still beneficial for families with allergies, parents must teach their children to wash their hands after touching their pets to minimize allergen transmission.
5. It’s a great way to meet new people
People who own dogs or cats can meet a wide variety of new people simply by taking them for walks or visiting dog parks, providing them with an excuse to strike up conversations with people they may otherwise never encounter.
Research has demonstrated the advantages of owning a pet for those struggling to form relationships. Pet owners tend to experience lower levels of cortisol, the stress hormone which increases blood pressure and heart disease risk.
Pets shouldn’t be seen as replacements for social relationships and shouldn’t be seen as a way to combat loneliness, but they can play an invaluable role in building connections and decreasing feelings of isolation. Pets can also help during difficult periods like divorce or grief by providing companionship and emotional support during such difficult times as separation and bereavement.