When we think of pets, we tend to think of unconditional love and humanity’s best friend. Recent research says that we can also start associating pet ownership with multiple health benefits as well. Whether you’re the proud owner (or parent) of a retriever or a tabby, you could be receiving benefits to your health along with the love, companionship, and miscellaneous fur.
So, what can your pet do for your health and wellness?
Pets are sources for companionship, and are sometimes considered friends or family, but there are other ways that they decrease our feelings of loneliness. People who walk with dogs versus people who walk without a dog interact more with other people and are more likely to interact with strangers. Apparently, dogs make great icebreakers. Researchers from Psychology Today also found that pet owners tend to be more outgoing and have healthier relationships with other people.
It is certainly okay to be on your own and make time for me, myself, and I. Often when you feel lonely or experience isolation for elongated periods of time is when loneliness affects your well-being. Loneliness can increase your risk for depression, make you lethargic, and interfere with healthy sleeping habits—among many other symptoms.