When you decide to adopt a furry friend, you will not only become a pet owner, but a real pet parent, because you will take care of your furry companions as if they were your children, right?
Adopting a four-legged companion comes with a lot of responsibilities, and before you take this big step, you have to take into consideration many aspects, such as maintenance costs – not only for their food, but also for regular vet checkups, your time, and affection, and so on. Don’t forget that having a furry friend, especially a dog, requires daily walks and plenty of exercise as well.
Another important thing you should keep in mind before adopting an adorable and furry companion is the characteristics of the breed. So, try to ask the breeder and other furry companions’ parents about your pet’s breed and document yourself as much as possible.
For example, if your schedule is full most of the time and you have to work all day long, then try to adopt a pet that can stay alone at home for long periods of time. In general, dogs can develop destructive behavior if you leave them alone for too long.
However, the main idea is that you are actually responsible for the well-being of your pet and you should try to do your best to improve their quality of life. But that’s not all!
Your furry friend is just as responsible for yours – and these benefits of adopting a fluffy friend have been proven by a lot of studies over time. Hence, try to save a life, so adopt a furry friend instead of buying one.
That being said, here are some surprising benefits of having a cute fluffy friend. Read on for more info!
You will be more likely to make new friends
Being able to make new friends in any situation is a real superpower that not many people have. Of course, this is a personality trait of extroverted people who are sociable and don’t let anxiety control their lives.
For the rest of us, though, who can’t make new friends as easily as they do, we need someone or something to help us start the conversation with a new person, so having a pet is what we need – or at least this is what experts say.
In other words, according to animal experts, pet owners are more likely to form friendships in their neighborhood than non-pet parents.
A 2015 study done by Lisa Wood and colleagues, on how furry friends can help you meet new people and form friendships, published in PLOS ONE, showed that pets can actually help their owners make new friends in their neighborhood.
According to Dr. Elizabeth Frates, assistant professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at Harvard Medical School, pets can really make communicating with other people easier.
She said that she didn’t meet many people when she moved into her new neighborhood. But that changed when she got Reesee, their lovely Goldendoodle. She opened the door to a new universe of people and her life was never the same.
You will be more likely to survive after a heart attack
Did you know that having a pet can actually increase your chances of surviving a heart attack? Well, according to a 1995 study done by Erika Friedmann and Sue A. Thomas on the connection between pet ownership and 1-year survival after an acute myocardial infarction in the Cardiac Arrhythmia Suppression Trial, also known as CAST, published in The American Journal of Cardiology, pet owners who suffered a heart attack are more likely to survive at least an additional year after this episode.
Of course, it doesn’t mean that all you have to do is to buy a dog and that’s all, or that you will survive a heart attack just because you’ve adopted one quickly – this obviously doesn’t make sense. The main idea is to form a strong connection between you and your four-legged friends. The explanation is that having a canine companion or a cat can help you improve your heart health, so you will be more likely to survive a heart attack.
Other studies have shown that dog owners have a lower blood pressure than non-pet owners because dogs and cats usually have a calming effect on them, not to mention that they get more exercise, as they have to take their dogs for a walk daily. In other words, having a dog can help you stay active and you will be calmer, which means that you will also be less stressed, reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.
They help you get rid of stress
As I said before, having a furry friend and spending time with them can have a big impact on your mood, as well as your overall health. To be more specific, pets can boost your mental health, reducing your stress and anxiety levels.
For example, according to a 2002 study from SUNY Buffalo, being around your pet reduces your stress levels more than being around a family member.
Moreover, studies have shown that pet parents are less likely to develop depression than people who don’t own a pet. The explanation is that spending time with your new family member and playing together can cause your brain to release serotonin and dopamine, which makes you calm down and relax.
Nevertheless, don’t forget that your pet can be there for you in ways that people can’t. They can give you unconditional love and companionship, being happy every time you come home, even though you left them alone all day. They will be your best friends for life.
You will be less likely to develop allergiesThere are more and more people allergic to pets, as well as gluten, pollen, and so on. However, pet allergy is an allergic reaction to proteins found in an animal’s skin cells, saliva, or urine.
In general, people who suffer from pet allergy experience symptoms when they come into contact with an animal’s dander when they shed. Animal experts usually recommend adopting a hypoallergenic breed if you suffer from a pet allergy, as these breeds don’t shed too much.
Hence, according to a study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, people who have grown up around pets won’t suffer from pet allergies as they age.
They help you overcome your trauma
It has been proven that a beloved and trusted new family member can actually help you recover and heal when you experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or if you are simply emotionally unstable. In other words, animal and medical experts say that even the presence of your pet can help you overcome your trauma.
That being said, if you are going through a bad time, just try to spend more time with your pet, go for a walk and play various games together. The difference between working service animals and emotional support animals is that the former are rigorously trained to help you with a particular need.
So, your new family member doesn’t need special training to provide you with natural healing support, especially when you are going through a trauma.
The explanation is that when you spend time with your furry friend, whether we are talking about playing together or simply cuddling while watching a movie, your brain releases oxytocin – also known as the love hormone.
Hence, high levels of oxytocin in your body can help you feel calmer, happier, and more connected with your furry friend. But that’s not all! Oxytocin can also help you fight off negative emotions and mental issues that you may have as a result of a traumatic event.
Having a furry friend is linked to lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels
As I said before, adopting a furry friend, whether it’s a cat, a rabbit, a dog, a bird, or even a turtle, is always a good idea, not only because you will be more responsible and happier, but also because your overall health will be improved.
For example, research suggests that having a dog can help you improve your heart health by lowering your bad cholesterol levels, as well as triglyceride levels.
Why are triglycerides and cholesterol levels important? Well, according to medical experts, if you have high levels of triglycerides and bad cholesterol in your blood, you will be more likely to develop heart disease.
Here’s a bit of science: the difference between triglycerides and cholesterol, which are both important for your lovely pet’s body, is that the former store those unused calories and provide your body with energy, while the latter is used to build cells and certain hormones.
However, the explanation is that being around fluffy companions, spending time with them, and taking them for a walk regularly can help you stay more active, which means that you will be more likely to lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
In general, active people are healthier and happier than people who have a sedentary lifestyle. Moreover, studies have shown that dog and cat parents are also less likely to develop obesity.
According to a study that looked at about 2,000 adults, pet parents who walked their dogs regularly had lower rates of obesity and were more physically active, unlike people without any fluffy companions.
They help you keep blood pressure down
It is no secret that we all feel better when we are around our beloved furry friends, right? When you spend some quality time with your pet, your mood, as well as your overall health, improves significantly – or at least this is what medical and animal experts have told us.
In conformity with pet researcher Allen R. McConnell, PhD. and professor of psychology at Miami University, on average, pet owners, were better off than non-owners, especially when they have a strong and healthy relationship with their dear pets. What [makes] a meaningful relationship varies from person to person, so you should spend time with your furry friend and you’ll bond eventually.
In addition, evidence suggests that people who play with their fluffy companions and take their dogs for a walk regularly have a lower blood pressure than people who don’t have dogs.
If you are ready to adopt a dog don’t forget that you have to provide them with enough exercise daily to help them consume their energy, which makes you obviously more active, keeping your blood pressure down at the same time.
They play an important role in addiction recovery
There are many people who suffer from addictions to various substances, such as alcohol and drugs, and they know how difficult it is to recover, especially when no one understands what you are going through. That’s why medical experts recommend adopting a pet, as they can support them unconditionally without asking so many questions or judging them.
Addicts tend to disappoint their loved ones, but this does not apply to pets who love them unconditionally. However, it has been shown that pets can help addicts recover faster, because spending quality time with animals and playing with them can help people relieve stress, anxiety, and depression, making them more responsible at the same time. In addition, having responsibility for another being is a good way to help a person deal with recovery.
They can ease chronic pain
Did you know that animal companionship can provide comforting moments to people who suffer from chronic pain, especially after surgery? According to a 2014 study done by Loyola University Health System on animal therapy and pain after surgery, published in Anthrozoos, pet parents recovering from joint-replacement surgery have a 28 percent less need for pain medication than non-pet owners.
The explanation is that your furry friend can give you unconditional love and support, especially when you are in pain. Therefore, they need to be taken care of, even when you are in pain, and when you do that, you will focus on something else (such as bathing, grooming, walking, or feeding them), so your pain will gradually disappear.
They teach kids responsibility
In conformity with the American Pet Product Association’s 2011-2012 National Pet Owners Survey, 58% of pet owners admit that their pets help teach their children to be more responsible – isn’t that great?
In general, kids get involved in raising four-legged friends along with their parents. They will usually alert you when the dog needs food and water and help you groom the canine friend. Plus, they will also be more active, as they will walk the dog daily and play various games together.
In addition, animal experts say that if you let your kid walk the dog, you should make sure that they know how to handle the leash and that the dog listens to their commands.
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If you’re looking for another interesting article to read, we think that you’ll love this one: Your Dog CAN Eat These 10 Human Foods Safely With You!