8 Health Benefits of Owning a Pet

It’s no secret that life is better with pets!

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.

But the benefits of caring for another animal go beyond just the unconditional love and companionship. Here are 8 real benefits of pet ownership that might have you stopping by the local animal shelter today.

1. You Exercise More

An active pet is a happy pet. So if you own a pet, you’re going to get some exercise!

No matter your age or fitness level, pets help us to get moving and stay active. According to a recent study, dog owners are 4x more likely to meet their recommended physical activity level compared to non-dog owners.

And the benefits of walking your dog or playing with your cat aren’t just great for physical health. The active companionship you enjoy with your pet can do wonders for your mental and emotional health too!

2. Pet’s Relieve Stress

In some way, every pet is a therapy pet. And that’s because owning a pet is a MAJOR stress reliever. Spending even just a few minutes with your pet has been shown to lower blood pressure and anxiety, and increase levels of chemicals in the brain associated with calmness and happiness.

3. You Learn New Things – Every Day

Caring for another animal is hard work. You want the best for your pet, and so…you do a lot of research to learn what’s best for them. And the lessons you learn – about exercise, and creating a loving home, and the right diet for optimal health – can teach us how to improve our own lives as well!

Take me, for example. Before I adopted my dog, Milo, I put little thought into my diet. But after researching the optimal diet for Milo, we both made the switch to a low carb diet for optimal health!

At meal-time, I chow down on health fats and proteins, while Milo enjoys a bowl of our favorite low carb dog-food brand, Visionary Pet! Finding the right food for Milo taught me a lot about optimal nutrition, and we’re both better off because of it.

4. You’ll Live Longer

According to a study of over 3.4 million adults, owning a dog is linked to a longer life! The study found dog parents had a lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease and other causes – even after adjusting for variables like smoking, BMI, and socioeconomic class.

This life-prolonging effect was especially pronounced in pet parents that lived alone. In fact, the study showed that these pet parents had a 33% reduced risk of death from all causes compared to non-dog owners that also lived alone!

5. You’ll Have More Meaning in Your Life

One reason dogs might help you live longer is that owning a pet gives your life an added purpose. Caring for yourself is one thing – but taking on the responsibility of a loving cat or dog changes your priorities.

Let it change you. Let it fill your life with meaning and create a new reason to be the best  “you” you can be. You’ll grow even more as a person, and your pet will benefit from a loving owner that cherishes their health and well-being.

6. You’ll Meet More People

When you become a pet parent, you gain more than just a loving companion – you join a community. In a world that is growing more and more disconnected by technology, pets bring us together and allow us to bond over a shared love of animals.

7. You’ll Maintain a Healthy Weight

As we learned above, owning a pet helps us stay active and more conscious of our nutrition. And these things matter when it comes to maintaining a healthy weight!

In one study, participants who walked a dog at least 5 times a week lost an average of 14.4 pounds in that year. And this effect has been duplicated in numerous other studies to-date.

The science is clear, if you want to stay fit and healthy, owning a pet helps! Which leads us to our exciting conclusion…

8. You’ll be More Attractive

Aside from the obvious benefits that a healthy weight can have on physical appearance, owning a pet can make you more attractive and approachable. In one study, 85% of participants agreed that people are more attractive and approachable when they’re with a dog. That might be why every dating app profile features a picture with an adorable pet.

And there we have it – 8 real amazing benefits of owning a pet! We hope this guides you on your journey to becoming a pet parent, and helps you realize the joy and happiness that a loving companion can bring.

    Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

    You might also like...

    Cats and dogs can hold a number of benefits and are a great way to deal with feelings of anxiety or stress.

    Benefits of Pets for Anxiety and Depression

    by Matt Boyle
    Courtesy of jakrit yuenprakhon / Shutterstock

    7 Science-Backed Ways a Pet Could Be the Best Thing for Your Health

    by Ivan De Luce


    by Suresh Yadav
    We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.