The Health Benefits of Pet Ownership

Owning a pet can be beneficial to health in several areas. Benefits of pet ownership have even been seen for diabetics.
The Health Benefits of Pet Ownership

Last update: 13 January, 2023

Having a pet in your home encourages feelings, affection, and many different reactions in each of the members of the household. However, in addition, research has proven the benefits of pet ownership and that pets improve our quality of life.

There’s no doubt that pets are great companions for all people. In addition to it being very easy to relate to them effectively, they also occupy a very important space in the home, to the point that we come to consider them as members of our family.

You likely have or have had a pet at home and have thought about how important their presence can be for your health. If you still don’t know the benefits of having a pet at home, here are all the advantages so that you have one or more reasons to love your pet, or encourage you to adopt one!

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Having a pet decreases a person’s risk of heart disease

A study conducted by the American Heart Association determined that having a pet can reduce your risk of suffering from heart disease. These studies determined that people who take their dog for a walk, meet 54% more of the energy levels that are recommended for the daily routine. Thanks to this exercise, the person could be less prone to suffer cardiovascular diseases.

If you want to keep your heart healthy and spend time with your pet, the key is to walk with them at least 150 minutes a week.

They prevent the feeling of loneliness

A pet
Pet ownership can confer many well-being benefits, including mitigating feelings of loneliness and its related consequences.

Having a pet at home can also help the person to feel more self-confident and more protected. Research on this topic suggests that pet ownership can confer many well-being benefits, including mitigating feelings of loneliness and its related sequelae among older adults who live alone.

Thus, especially for the elderly, pet ownership may be beneficial in avoiding feelings of loneliness.

They reduce stress

Owning a pet may help reduce feelings of stress, anxiety, and depression. This is explained by a study published in 2018 by the journal Innovation Aging, which explains that having a pet has the potential to dampen stress responses in those with depressive symptoms.

They strengthen the body’s immune system

benefits of pet ownership on the immune system
Living with pets from an early age helps strengthen the immune system.

Different investigations have also determined that living with pets from an early age helps strengthen the immune system, thus reducing the risk of developing allergies and respiratory diseases.

To prove this, researchers from Finland conducted a study with 397 children from birth to one year old. The research consisted of monitoring the children and the contact they had with animals. As a result, it was determined that the children who had more contact with the animals had a stronger immune systems.

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They can help diabetics

Although it sounds incredible, some dogs can help people suffering from diabetes. There are even organizations such as Dogs for Diabetics, which are dedicated to training dogs to help patients with this health problem.

In a study published in 2016 by the journal Plos One, it was found that Children who actively care for one or more pets in the home are 2.5 times more likely to have control over their blood glucose levels than children who do not care for a pet.

They improve life expectancy

benefits of pet ownership
There’s evidence that dog owners are less sedentary and have lower blood pressure, plasma cholesterol, and triglycerides

It’s widely believed that pet ownership is beneficial to humans and that part of this benefit is through favorable effects on cardiovascular risk. For example, there’s evidence that dog owners are less sedentary and have lower blood pressure, plasma cholesterol, and triglycerides, attenuated responses to mental stress, and better survival after myocardial infarction compared to those who do not have a pet.

In general, ownership of household pets and particularly dogs is associated with positive health benefits . Animals provide a sense of well-being to the person even when he or she is going through a bad time; this type of sensation improves the quality of life and can prolong it for a more extended period of time.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Of, B., & Pets, F. (2009). Human-Animal Bonds II : The Role of Pets in Family. Most.
  • Cherniack, E. P., & Cherniack, A. R. (2014). The benefit of pets and animal-assisted therapy to the health of older individuals. Current Gerontology and Geriatrics Research.
  • McConnell, A. R., Brown, C. M., Shoda, T. M., Stayton, L. E., & Martin, C. E. (2011). Friends with benefits: On the positive consequences of pet ownership. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.