Have you ever looked at your pet and said, “you’re my best pal” to them? I know I have. My cat knows he’s my favorite baby (shh. Don’t tell my human babies). And while it’s true your animal wouldn’t respond to that loving statement -unless they’re from Narnia where animals can speak- except with a wag of the tail, or a slow blink (which is cat-talk for I love you in case you didn’t know), rest assured that your pet is doing more for you than you realize.
Pet ownership is one of the joys of life, in fact, most American homes have at least one pet, but I’m willing to bet you didn’t know that owning a pet has benefits to your physical as well as mental heath. According to the CDC:
Some of the health benefits of having a pet include:
- Decreased blood pressure.
- Decreased cholesterol levels.
- Decreased triglyceride levels.
- Decreased feelings of loneliness.
- Decreased feelings of stress.
- Increased opportunities for exercise and outdoor activities.
- Increased opportunities for socialization.
Pretty cool right? Not only are you taking care of your pet by loving them, feeding them, playing with them, and socializing with them, but they’re taking care of you because of those very same activities. And these benefits come from any animal you have (with the exception of wildlife, lets keep those guys wild please!).
What if you can’t afford a pet, or are in a situation where you aren’t allowed to have one? There is a solution. Local animal shelters are frequently asking for volunteers to come in and love on their animals. Spending your time at animal shelters has the same benefits as owning those animals yourself!
So the next time you look at your pet and say, “you’re my best pal” remember that they’re helping you just as much as you’re loving them.