Pets provide health benefits, improve morale, environment

So you want to get a pet.

It’s a big decision, I know. It’s like caring for a child, but it is so worth it.

We all know some of the benefits of having a pet in the home; it gives a sense of companionship, teaches discipline and many other things.

But what about the health benefits of having a dog, cat, parrot – you name it – in the home?

The results are not in the least surprising and all the more amazing.

For one, studies have shown that children with pets in the home are less likely to develop allergies – more than 30 percent less likely. It seems like a paradox, but it makes the immune system stronger for growing children. Additionally, they are good for the heart, figuratively and literally. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and National Institutes of Health (NIH) have both found that the presence of an animal decreases blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels, all leading to a lower risk of heart-related issues such as a heart attack later on in life. It has also showed increased, rapid recovery time in those who have already suffered a heart attack. The NIH has also concluded that – dog owners especially – have a lower chance of becoming overweight or obese, seeing as dogs need walks and inspire exercise.

Aside from physical attributes pets provide, they also give one a slew of emotional and mental rewards. Pets combat feelings of loneliness in their human counterparts, giving people that feel hopeless, unworthy or invaluable a sense of worth, meaning, and purpose. They also provide feelings of joy and happiness, and help overcome those who are particular disposition to be shy – in other words – having a furry friend can help develop healthy social skills.

So really, when it comes down to the question of investing in a cuddly kitty or a dorky dog – like I said, take your pick, the pros are endless for you and your pet.

If you choose to get an animal, please adopt from your local animal shelter. These places are overrun with abandoned, neglected and abused babies. So not only are they saving your life, you’re saving theirs, too. They are also usually spayed, neutered, have their shots, and are trained, so it’s a match made in heaven for you both.