I’ve always loved animals. Even when I wasn’t allowed to have a pet, I was a frequent visitor of pet store adoptions simply so that I could pet and visit with the animals. I’ve never been to a zoo that I didn’t enjoy, and at a party I am way more interested in meeting your pet than anything else.
Sorry. (not really.)
Now that I’ve had my
dog furry best friend for several years now, I can’t imagine life any other way. Before her I had fish that lived for surprisingly long times, cats that I was definitely allergic to but still loved, and even the pet turtle from time to time as a kid. Pets are a part of what makes home home to me.
So if home to you is where your pet is, or if you’re considering whether adopting an animal friend is right for you, here are a few interesting facts that you might not have known:
1. Having a pet in the home can actually lower a child’s likelihood of developing related allergies by as much as 33 percent. Children exposed early on to animals tend to develop stronger immune systems overall.
2. Having a dog in the house means more bacteria enters the home and gets inside the occupants (one study found “dog-related biodiversity” is especially high on pillowcases.) In turn, people with dogs seem to get ill less frequently and less severely than people with no pets.
3. Pets are a major source of support and increase the ability to cope, which contributes to keeping cholesterol and blood pressure down.
4. The routine of caring for a pet can bring structure and purpose to daily life. Maybe you don’t always want to get out of bed, but your pet wants you to. Isn’t that a good thing?
5. One of the fringe benefits of taking on the responsibility of pet ownership is that animals can be an instant icebreaker, whether they’re with you or you’re just using them as a topic of conversation.
6. While other pets have positive effects on your health as well, dogs have the added benefit of needing to be walked and played with numerous times a day. This means most dog owners get the recommended minimum 30 minutes of exercise a day, lowering their risk of cardiovascular disease and keeping them in better overall shape.
7. Stories abound of owners whose dogs kept sniffing or licking a mole or lump on their body so they got it checked out, discovering it was cancerous. The anecdotal evidence was later backed up by scientific studies. Dogs are so good at this that some of them are trained to detect cancer, in as little as three hours.
How has owning a pet affect you in your own life?