Benefits of Pet Companionship

Increases physical activity levels– it is hard to lay on the couch all day if Fido is begging for a walk. Cardio exercise strengthens the heart and lungs, which could mean a longer life to spend with Fido! Getting outside in the sunshine is always a mood booster. Walking your dog can also make it easier to relax at home once you’ve helped them burn their energy!

Can aid with depression and anxiety– even sitting and petting a cat or dog can lower blood pressure and have a calming effect. If a cat or dog sits for a grooming, it can be very therapeutic for the owner. The human-animal bond can help people feel like they are needed. When your pet is goofy and making you laugh, it can help take your mind of life’s hard times.

Helps teach children- Children learn responsibility and compassion when they have a pet in their home. They learn the importance of providing basic needs such as feeding and providing shelter. Having a pet also teaches children boundaries and safety around animals. Children often feel comfortable around animals and can boost self-esteem by reading to a listener that doesn’t mind how fast or slow they go, or if they mispronounce words.

Teach us acceptance- A pet will greet you at the door whether you come home from work happy and smiling, or if you are crying and in your ratty pyjamas! They don’t notice if you have a disability or illness, they love you just the same. Dogs teach us how to accept differences.

Boost immune system- Children that grow up in homes with pets are exposed to more allergens and therefore build up more of an immunity to those allergens and to germs that pets may carry into the home.

Pets can help boost your social circle- meeting other people, and their dogs on walks or at the dog’s park can increase social interactions and create new friends! People love to talk about their pets and owners can often find common ground for conversations.

Security and comfort- having a pet keep you company at home can make you feel safer. A companion on walks also increases comfort levels, especially on dark evenings.

It is obvious that there are many benefits that come with the human-animal bond! Even pet owners with cats and dogs that cause trouble and emptier pockets will admit that every headache and dime spent is worth it in the end.

Written by Liz Espejo, RAHT