There is an undeniable link between happiness and pet ownership. Our furry friends bring smiles to our faces every day. They help combat feelings of loneliness, reduce stress, make us compassionate, and generally make us better human beings. Owning a pet can also help us lead healthier lives, and a healthy pet owner is a happy pet owner.
Check out the reasons why pets are good for your mood below. And if you don’t already own one, you may want to after reading this list.
1. Sometimes Animals Can Literally Save Your Life
Pets have always got your back, and there have been cases where dogs and cats have literally saved their owner's life. For example, there have been cases where dogs have detected bladder cancer by smelling their owner’s urine. There are dogs who can detect when their owner is about to have an epileptic seizure.
There have been cases of cats walking up their families to alert them of a fire in the home. There’s also the case of the cat who saved her little boy owner from a dog attack. Our pets love us and want us to stick around. Now, that is something to be happy about.
2. You’ve Got Someone To Cuddle With Every Night
Who needs a boyfriend when you’ve got a kitty (or doggy) to cuddle with in bed? There is no better feeling in the world than falling asleep next to someone you know loves you unconditionally.
3. Pets Can Help Kids
Animals help children suffering from ADHD and autism thrive. They help kids with ADHD focus and children with autism get accustomed to personal interactions and touch. Children with autism have trouble using words to express themselves, but animals require no words to show us their love.
4. You’ve Got Someone To Come Home To
Coming home after a terrible day to a dark empty apartment can be pretty sad. Sometimes work can be stressful, and nothing warms your heart more than coming home to your furry friend. It fills us with joy to see them run up to you and greet you after a long day in the office. For people who own pets, you can’t wait to come home and be with them.
5. Pets Help You Stay Active
You don’t have a choice but to exercise if you own a dog. A beautiful sunny day may not encourage you to go out for a walk, but if you own a dog, you don’t have another choice. A study found that pet owners tend to be more physically fit, among a host of other benefits, than people who don’t own pets. Even owning a cat requires some exercise.
I often chase my cat around my apartment when she’s feeling playful. Oh, and changing the litter box requires a two flight walk up/down the stairs to the garbage outside. There is a [link between happiness and fitness[(http://greatist.com/happiness/working-out-happy), and our little personal trainers sure do keep a smile on our faces.
6. Pets Are Good For Your Heart
Pets are not only good at keeping our hearts happy, they’re also good at keeping them healthy. A study by the Minnesota Stroke Institute followed 4,000 cat owners for over 10 years and found that owning a cat greatly reduces the risk of death from heart disease. People who own cats were 30 percent less likely to suffer a heart attack! That’s should put a smile on your face!
7. Pets Are A Good Anti-Depressant
“Pets offer an unconditional love that can be very helpful to people with depression,” said Dr. Ian Cook, director of the Depression Research and Clinic Program at UCLA. Pets provide us with an uncomplicated love. No matter our faults, pets are there to love us and unlike humans, they would never judge us.
They also help establish a routine, which can be good for someone in the lethargic throes of depression. Depression can also make you feel isolated, but our animals let us know that there is no place they would rather be than by our side.
8. Pets Lower Your Cholesterol
Watching your cholesterol can be a bit annoying. But if you’re a pet owner, chances are your cholesterol is already in check. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention stated that owning pets can decrease cholesterol, triglycerides and blood pressure. Also, a study of 240 married couples found that pet owners had lower heart rates and blood pressures compared to couples who didn’t have a pet.
9. Pets Help You Relax
Pets are soothing to us. It was found that petting your animal companion actually releases a relaxation hormone oxytocin and also inhibits stress hormones like cortisol. Who can be unhappy when they’re relaxed and watching TV with their fur baby on the couch?
10. Pets Boost Your Self-Esteem
Pets can actually boost our confidence, and confident people tend to be happier than self-conscious ones. A study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychologyfound that pet owners who had close bonds with their animals tended to have higher self-esteem. This especially holds true with children
11. Pets Help You Cope With Stress And Loss
It’s hard to be happy when dealing with a loss in the family or a stressful situation. These things are unavoidable in life, but owning a pet can make it easier to get through. There have been studies donethat show that children who own dogs deal with illness or death in the family better than children without pets. Spouses of cancer patients also said that their pets helped them cope with the stress of the illness.
12. Pets Help Us Be More Outgoing
There have been studies that show that owning a pet can actually help with human relationships. They can help you be more outgoing and personable. If you’re out walking your dog, people tend to want to talk to you and that’s something you deal with on a daily basis.
Even women who call themselves “crazy cat ladies” had better relationships with people than someone without a pet. Pets help break the ice for people who dread social interactions. They give us something to talk about and share with people we might not be talking to on our own.
13. Pets Give You Something To Live For
At the end of the day, our pets give us life. Even if everything else if going wrong, you still have to pull it together and take care of your fur baby. We live to see them and make them happy because they live to see us and make us happy. It’s one of the purest and most beautiful relationships anyone can have.
Are you hugging your little fur baby right now? If you’re not, you may want to be looking up the numbers of local shelters ASAP.
SHARE If your fur baby puts a smile on your face every day.