Five health benefits of owning a pet

They say that an apple a day will keep the doctor away - but did you know that owning a pet could do the same? If you’re an animal lover, you’ll already know that a pet can put a grin on your face at the end of a bad day. But there are some surprising physical and mental health benefits of owning a pet too.

Here, we investigate five ways your pet could help you to lessen your anxiety, lose weight, and even make new friends… 

1. A pet can help to lower your blood pressure, anxiety and depression.

Playing with a pet can heighten levels of serotonin and dopamine, chemicals in our body which have relaxing properties. Not only does a pet owner enjoy less anxiety, but they are also less likely to suffer from depression!

We stock a number of dog toys to kick-start these good feelings. After all, who could be stressed when watching their dog play with a space hopper!?

2. Children growing up with a pet are less likely to develop allergies and asthma.

Experts agree that children who have pets get ill less frequently orseverely. This is because they have to develop a strong immune system to fight off all those germs that a pet could bring in!

A cat brush is a great tool to help your child interact with your pet. Not only will your cat love the extra attention, but it will also help to develop your child’s natural defences – not to mention their bond with the animal!

3. A dog is the perfect conversation starter when out walking.

Passers-by will stop to stroke your dog, ask about its breed, and comment on how cute he/she is.

Experts say that people who own a pet are seen as more trustworthy than random people walking along the street. So not only will your dog get you out walking, they might also help you make friends, or even get a date! 

Just make sure that your pooch is on a retractable lead so that you can make a quick get-away if he/she attracts a crowd!

4. Alzheimer’s patients have less anxious outbursts if there is an animal in their home

It’s been proven that stroking a pet, particularly a cat, can release oxytocin, the hormone known for inducing feelings of love and trust. This is particularly prominent for anyone who is going through grief or stress, as it can be easier to talk to something that can’t judge you, or respond to you.

If you want to keep your cat close on an evening, invest in a cat bed to put in your bedroom. That way, they have their own space but are near enough for comfort!

5. Owning a pet, particularly a dog or a horse, equals more exercise!

It’s proven that those who own a pet are likely to get their minimum of 30 minutes of exercise per day. This helps you to burn calories, get fit, and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease!

Make sure that you keep warm on those spring morning walks, by investing in a woolly hat or scarf.