Anyone who has a big space to house a pet should acquire one because of the benefits that are brought by having pets. Firstly, pets are a good source of companionship. As people grow old, they may end up being lonely because of the limited physical activities that they are engaged in (Siegel 8). Having a pet is a great way of eliminating boredom and loneliness which may lead to depression. Pets are never unavailable, busy or off duty. The pet will, therefore, be available 24 hours a day. Having smaller pets can be especially useful because they are easy to travel with especially in areas with limited pacing.
The Benefits of Keeping Pets
Studies have also shown that an interaction with pets, especially therapy animals has the ability to reduce stress and anxiety (Friedmann and Thomas 5). Playing with a pet makes the body produce stress-reducing hormones while suppressing the production of cortisol which is responsible for causing depression. A pet can, therefore, help a child who is nervous to overcome his/her fears by making them relaxed. Since pets have the ability to cause a high production of stress-reducing hormones, patients suffering from high blood pressure can benefit from a pet when dealing with high-stress situations. Other studies have shown patients who have suffered from a heart attack and have pets have increased odds of living for an extra year compared to their counterparts. Apart from helping patients suffering from blood pressure and anxiety, having pets has proven to be helpful to people suffering from Alzheimer (Piva, et al. 3). The study conducted by a team of Italian scientists showed that patients with Alzheimer's have benefited in their daily activities by getting a trained pet dog.
Pet owners can also live longer and healthy lives. Although having a pet cannot guarantee a longer life because of other factors in play, it guarantees an active physical life. The need to take care of the pet such as walking a dog gives an individual an opportunity to also exercise. The reduced prolonged sitting and increased physical activities ensure an individual keeps fit and avoids conditions such as heart attacks and obesity. Having a pet can also give an individual especially those at some risks with a sense of purpose. People who are aged, have mental illness or are chronically ill can benefit from having a pet. The sense that comes with having to get up and take care of something can help such individuals and help them feel the need to get out of the house and do something for a third party.
Pets also play a critical role in human longevity by encouraging commitment and belonging. Having a pet can act as a strong catalyst to starting a conversation. Pet owners and also those without pets will find it easy to strike a conversation when a pet is involved. Pets, therefore, can be attributed to one of the factors that encourage the development of networks and social connections (Siegel 2). The ability for a pet to encourage and catalyze this feature is essential in increasing longevity for both pet owners as well as for those they come into contact with. Other groups such as the homeless can greatly benefit from having a pet because of the comfort they derive. Such individuals who are in a low place in their lives often report having pets as a good thing. The animals offer a simple yet non-judgmental friendship that some humans may not be able to provide.
Children suffering from autism find it hard to socialize with children their age or even with adults. Such a challenge may lead to isolation, depression or bullying. However, a child who has a pet is in a better position to improve social skills such as being assertive and improving the ability to talk. Apart from developing social skills at home, taking a pet outside may encourage other kids to engage with the child who is with his/her pet. The ability to engage with other children is essential for a child who is suffering from autism because it gives them the confidence needed to talk to other people. It is also important to get children pets because it teaches them the importance of responsibility and the need to take care of other living things. The pet will, therefore, act as a mold for a child from a young age.
There are other functions that pets can perform apart from being a good companion. A pet can act as a source of security for the family. Pets such as dogs can work better than an alarm at times. It is possible to know if there is an intruder because the dog will alert the house owner. Some dogs will not only warn the owner about a potential intruder but will also work as a deterrent. Some of the pets such as German shepherds will make an intruder think twice before breaking into a house or compound. Depending on how one sees their pet it is, therefore, possible to get a security dog which can also act as a pet (Friedmann and Thomas 3). However, care should be taken to ensure these pets are properly vaccinated to avoid issues such as transmitted disease from the pet to the owner.
Pets can also be used for their aesthetic purpose and as a status symbol. Although having a pet for its status may not be the best reason to keep one, people still do this for the exact reason. Some people may decide to buy a breed that they consider cool to improve their status. However, this should be the last reason for buying a pet. It is also possible to have a pet because of its aesthetic features. Some people take pleasure in looking at their cats grooming themselves or the dogs running gracefully in the yard. The most important thing however when taking the pets in is ensuring they have a comfortable place to live and all its basic needs such as food are catered for and the animal is not mistreated.
Finally, studies are still being conducted to reveal the exact mental benefit that having a pet may bring. Although the exact benefit is not known, doctors are in agreement that pets have some mental benefit because of their ease in interacting with humans. It is therefore important to think of these benefits next time one thinks pets are a burden. Before getting a pet it is essential that one consults the apartment owner since not everyone allows pets in their building. A pet should be a means of bringing comfort rather than quarrels and it is, therefore, essential to ensure all the laws are followed.
Allen, Karen. "Pets and Quality of Life." Encyclopedia of Quality of Life and Well-Being Research, 2014, pp. 4784-4789.
Friedmann, Erika, and Sue A. Thomas. "Pet Ownership, Social Support, and One-Year Survival after Acute Myocardial Infarction in the Cardiac Arrhythmia Suppression Trial (CAST)." Companion Animals in Human Health Companion animals in human health, 2015, pp. 187-202.
McConnell, Allen R., et al. "Friends with benefits: On the positive consequences of pet ownership." PsycEXTRA Dataset, 2010, pp. 1-8.
Piva, Elisabetta, et al. "Welfare in a shelter dog rehomed with Alzheimer patients." Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research, vol. 3, no. 2, 2008, pp. 87-94.
Siegel, Judith M. "Stressful life events and use of physician services among the elderly: The moderating role of pet ownership." Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, vol. 58, no. 6, 1990, pp. 1081-1086.
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