6 Positively Perky Health Benefits of Pet Ownership

Need a good reason to bring home a pet? We’ve got six for you!

Feeling down? Need to lose a few pounds? Worried about your heart health? We have the prescription you need to fill ASAP—you’ve got to get yourself a pet! Sure, they’re cute and cuddly, but pets also have a positive impact on your health. Here are six ways pets make you happier and healthier.

Happier Brains

Oxytocin is the feel-good chemical our brain releases to make us happy. And there’s plenty of research from our friends at HABRI that interacting with pets is a wonderful way to get the oxytocin flowing! Not only does it play an important role in bonding, socialization, and stress relief, but it also helps slow your heart rate and creates a sense of comfort and calm.

Lower Medical Costs

Here’s another great benefit of owning a pet from HABRI Foundation research—working with two teams from Virginia’s George Mason University, the study found that thanks to pets, it equals a savings of $11.37 billion to the US healthcare system. This information came from analyzing the number of times that pet owners in the US visit their doctor versus non-pet owners. It turns out that 132.8 million pet owners visit a doctor 0.6 times less than the average non-pet owners. A trip to a physician comes to an average of $139 mark, and when you add up the numbers, you get $11.37 billion in savings.

Bless You!

Kids that are exposed to pets from an early age are less likely to develop allergies and pick up colds. In fact, research shows both can be reduced in babies and children by up to 50% in pet-owning household. Thanks to a stronger immune system built up by exposure to pet dander, these sneeze-free kids have overall lower antibody levels and fewer positive skin test reactions to cat, dog, dust mite, ragweed, and grass allergens.

dog ownership


Active Social Life

Want to meet new people who also love dogs? Get yourself a pooch and you’ll find yourself surrounded by potential new friends (and not just the furry kind). Dogs naturally put you at ease, so when you walk around the neighborhood or head to the dog park, you’ll be ready to engage in conversation. Besides, dogs are natural conversation starters!

Working Out

Who needs a treadmill when you have a dog? A daily walk, jog, or hike with your pooch ensures that you’re keeping active. And dogs are the perfect workout partner—you’ll never get an excuse because they always want to go, go, go!

A Good Heart

This isn’t about kindness (although, dog people do have big hearts!). Having a pet is literally good for your heart—they decrease stress and blood pressure. Just think about how you feel after coming home from a bad day of work… only to be greeted by an excited pet who thinks that you are the most wonderful person in the world! Need more proof? According to the CDC, owning a pet especially helps men by significantly lowering cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

Meet the Author: Amy Tokic

Amy Tokic is the Editor of Petguide.com, the flagship site to over 70 different pet communities, which offers pet parents a one-stop-info-shop for all things dog and cat related. Amy's been with PetGuide since the beginning, guided by the wisdom of her Shih Tzu mix and furry roommate, Oscar. Together, this pet power couple has their paw on the pulse of the pet industry, sniffing out trends, advice, news, tasty treat recipes and other tail-wagging stories.

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