Do you own a pet? If you do, whether it be a dog or a cat, or something more exotic like a bird, lizard or even snake, you’re already improving your lifestyle and wellness. Here, Kooks Pets lists nine ways a pet will improve your life and health.
Did you know that the UK is the biggest pet owning nation in Europe? You could guess really; the British love of animals is well-documented and acknowledged around the world. It’s seen as a national trait. In fact, research tells us that in 2016 there are 57 million pets in the UK living in an estimated 11 million households. That’s 40% of all homes across the UK. The good news is that having a pet to care for and share your life with brings a number of proven health benefits. These include physical, mental and emotional improvements, from enhancing social skills to decreasing your risk of heart attack.
So how exactly does having a cat, dog, fish, bird rabbit, rodent or one of the more unusual varieties benefit you?
1.Pets enhance emotional and psychological well-being research suggests. For example, in 2011 the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology published that pets didn’t replace relationships with humans, but rather complemented them, and that pet owners had higher self-esteem and were less likely to be lonely. Some of the heart benefits seen in pet owners may be due to the companionship their animals provide.
2. Do you often get stressed out by everything going on in your life? Get a pet! It may well help relieve stress. Playing with and talking to a pet will lower your levels of stress, and it will also lower your blood pressure. That’s good for your health.
3. Pets aren’t just great companions in themselves, they can actually help you meet human pals, too. One study says people who own dogs, cats, or even other animals like rabbits and birds are more likely to get to know their neighbours. They are also more likely to receive advice and support from people they meet through their pets.
Why is this a good thing? Well, friendships can help keep you healthy. Having friends lowers stress, which has a positive impact on your heart, gut, and even your immune system. For example, one study found that people who had lots of social ties were four times less likely to get a cold virus than those with few social relationships.
4. Pets are a responsibility and will change your life. This is a good thing. Do you ever have days when you think you haven’t achieved anything or as much as you would like? Not if you have a pet – they will add structure to your life because you have to care for them. You have to feed them, walk them, take them to the vet, clean their cages or bedding, wash and groom them, empty the litter and so on. These are not chores – they’re fun, and if you can share these tasks with other members of your family even better!
5. It may seem counter intuitive, but pets will actually help your children ward off allergies. University of Wisconsin-Madison paediatrician James E. Gern conducted a number of studies that demonstrated having a pet in the home can lower a child’s likelihood of developing related allergies by as much as 33 percent. And children exposed to animals early in life may have stronger immune systems. Research has shown that those raised with pets (especially dogs) and on farms are less likely to develop respiratory and ear infections, allergies and asthma.
6. Smiling is good for you! And pets make you smile.When your dog does cute things like rolling on his back or putting a paw up on your arm, he can make you smile, which in turn triggers neurotransmitters to fire. These pet-inspired smiles can raise your serotonin and dopamine levels, which are nerve transmitters associated with calmness and happiness.
7. Pets can even help you live longer! A bold claim, you might think, but in 2013 in the USA the American Heart Association published reported on research that found a connection between pet ownership and lower blood pressure, heart rate and blood cholesterol. This confirmed that dog owners, for example, get more physical activity not least because they have to walk their dogs. They are also less likely to be overweight or to smoke, all of which
contributes to cardiovascular health. And among people who have cardiovascular disease, those who own a pet, especially a dog, have lower mortality rates than those who don’t. Most studies have involved dogs and cats, but benefits have also been found to come with ownership of indoor birds, fish and even chimps, goats and snakes!
8. Playing is fun! Sometimes, all caught up in the daily grind, we forget to just let our hair down and have fun. So go on, put some time aside and just play with your pet. Dogs are good for wrestling (careful with that Rottweiler!), play catch, dance together, or just run around and act silly. But all pets offer some way of playing with them – indoor birds are great mimics and you can hours of fun teaching them various words.
9. In the USA, the National Institutes of Health conducted a workshop almost 30 years ago on the health benefits of pets and pet-facilitated therapy and concluded that all these benefits exist, particularly for the elderly.
If you have a pet you probably know most of this. Your pet brings a lot of joy to your life and you can feel heartened (literally!) that he or she is almost certainly enhancing your health. If you don’t have a pet, you should consider maybe getting one to bring all these positive benefits into your life and your home. You should always remember, however, that a pet is a living responsibility, so be sure you are going to be able to give a pet a good home and can devote enough time to it and can afford the extra costs a pet will add to your household budget.
At Casa di Kooks we are dedicated to making home life easier and, through our sub-brand Kooks Pets, we can offer you amazing deals on pet food. Currently we are supplying premium, specialist seed mix for parrots, budgies, canaries, parakeets and nightingales. Check out our products using the links below and see how you could be feeding your bird for as little as 7p per day! Check out your bird food needs now – click the relevant link!
And, at our sub-brand, Kooks Kitchen, check out The Kooks Kitchen Food Safe – our latest, exclusive food storage solution with a unique and exclusive date indicator to help prevent food wastage. Click here! Use it for food preparation, storing leftovers or even keeping your birdfood!