After many years of yearning for a dog of my own, I finally took the plunge. You may have seen him before on Ravita’s Instagram or Facebook page. His name is Oliver and he’s a mini dachshund. He’s famous for his Product Picks #productpicksbyoli. In the short amount of time I’ve had him, I can already see the benefits of being a pet owner, and it turns out I'm not the only one. There have been multiple studies demonstrating this very thing!
Here are just some benefits of owning a pet:
- Decreases stress - one study found that people undertaking a stressful task felt less stress when their pets were with them, even more than when a spouse, family member, or close friend was nearby.
- Lowers blood pressure - this ties back to reducing stress
- Eases pain - pets reduce anxiety, which translates to less pain. One study found that using therapy dogs after surgery reduced the amount of pain medication given to patients.
- Improves mood - this one is especially true for me, and I’ve noticed it in the clinic as well. When people spot Oli their faces brighten up! Pets are also great company, and can make you feel less lonely.
- Helps people socialize - pet owners are a community. People will stop to talk to you about your pet, who can resist a puppy! It’s a great way to meet new people.
- Prevents allergies and improves immunity to colds and other mild illnesses - evidence shows that the dander in your pet’s fur might stop your child from developing allergies. Studies have also shown that babies who live with a dog tend to experience fewer infections than those who don’t. Introducing your child to a dog (or other pet) early can help promote a healthy immune system.
- Helps children develop - pets are a great way to teach your children how to be responsible, and they’ll also learn nurturing and empathy skills.
- Active lifestyle - pet owners are often more active and spend more time outdoors with their pets!
Alison Smink R.H.N.
(I promise this article was not written by a kid trying to convince their parents to get a dog, although I was that kid at one point!)