The Many Benefits of Having a Pet


This is probably old news for those of you who already have a pet or grew up with one but sharing your home with an animal companion can bring you a huge number of benefits. More than simply being cute, a pet can be a valuable member of the family and help to boost both your physical health and your mental wellbeing. Not convinced yet? Read on to find out all the details. You’re sure to be considering a visit to your local animal shelter to find a new furry friend by the time you reach the end of the post!

What are the benefits of having a pet?

There are so many amazing benefits to be gained from sharing your life with a pet. Firstly, there’s the companionship. Many people consider their pet to be a valued friend or member of the family, who will listen without judgment as they talk about their problems and cheer them up when they’re feeling down. In fact, pets can be a fantastic way to stave off loneliness. This is partly through providing you with their own company, and partly because certain species can help you meet other human companions too. For instance, this could be by attending dog training classes or walking groups. In addition, pets can provide older people with a sense of purpose and more of a daily routine.

Another fantastic advantage of pet ownership is that it can reduce your levels of stress. For example, studies have found that petting a cat or dog can actually lower your blood pressure and boost your mood. Lower blood pressure can in turn reduce the risk of heart attacks and other harmful medical conditions. Spending time with animals has also been shown to lower the risk of mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety. Even on a smaller scale, it’s certainly true that sitting on the sofa with a fluffy, purring cat curled up on your lap is going to lighten your mood after a bad day at the office!

Depending on the species of pet that you have, you may also see a boost to your physical health. For instance, if you have a dog or a horse then you will naturally spend more time outside walking or exercising them – regardless of whether it’s raining, windy or icy cold. This in turn helps to increase your fitness and reduce your risk of health conditions such as obesity. Even cats often need to spend time playing with their owners in order to get enough exercise, which will mean you burn more calories than you would simply watching TV!

Lastly, if you have children, then owning a pet can be an effective way to teach them about responsibility and compassion for animals. This could be by helping to clean the cat’s litter tray, accompanying you on the daily dog walk, or learning more about how to look after animals on a trip to Plus, kids often develop strong bonds with family pets that bring them plenty of happiness and loving memories that last a lifetime. Anyone who grew up with a pet is sure to have treasured memories of them, no matter how many years ago it was.

What kind of pet should I get?

If reading about all the benefits you can get from sharing your life with a pet has made you considering getting an animal companion, it’s time to think about what type of pet will best suit you. There are a number of factors you need to consider, including how big your house is, whether you have a garden, how much money you’re willing to spend on your pet, how many years you will be able to look after them for, whether you are out at work for most of the day, and so on.

For example, dogs need to be taken for walks regularly and have space outside to go to the toilet, while animals such as fish and lizards need special environments within your home to live in. If you have very young children or other pets already, this might also affect the type of pet you will be able to welcome into your house. Finally, there’s also the simple question of what species appeals to you the most – whether it’s a fluffy cat, colorful tropical fish, or hairy-legged tarantula, you need to choose a pet you’ll love with all your heart!

Whichever animal you decide you wish to care for, if possible, try and adopt one from a shelter rather than buying from a pet store. That way you will be giving an abandoned animal a second chance for a loving forever home, helping to prevent overpopulation, and ensuring that your money doesn’t indirectly or directly support unethical breeders.

Am I ready for a pet?

Owning a pet is a big responsibility, so don’t take it on lightly. An animal is a living being, with its own emotions, needs and wants. Caring for one properly requires money, time, space and effort. For instance, you won’t be able to go away for the weekend without either bringing your pet with you or arranging for someone to look after him or her while you’re gone. Take some time to think carefully about whether you are truly ready for pet ownership before making this commitment – so don’t let the kids persuade you to get a cute puppy or kitten on a whim!

If you’re still unsure, talk to other people you know who have pets of their own for a better idea of what it’s truly like. Another helpful idea is to volunteer at your local animal sanctuary as a dog walker or cat fosterer. This can enable you to spend quality time with animals without the full commitment of pet ownership – a particularly good option if you live in rental accommodation where you’re not allowed to have a pet of your own. Then once you’re in a position where you’re willing and able to care for an animal yourself, you’ll be more than ready for it!