​Pets are Good for the Soul
Start writing a post
Featured

​Pets are Good for the Soul

Millions of Americans have found comfort in pet ownership. The media has been awash with stories about a surge in pet ownership, as Americans have taken advantage of the ability of pets to improve emotional well-being.

89389
Good for the Soul
Pets are Good for the Soul

America is going through a mental health crisis. This crisis predates the global pandemic, but has in many ways been dramatically exacerbated by it. In 2019, 19.86% of adults, or 50 million Americans, reported suffering from a mental illness. The emotional toll of the pandemic has been heavy, with over half of U.S. adults saying that they have experienced stress and worry related to Covid-19. Anxieties over work, uncertainty about the future and other triggers have intensified the mental health crisis. Millions of Americans have found comfort in pet ownership. The media has been awash with stories about a surge in pet ownership, as Americans have taken advantage of the ability of pets to improve emotional well-being.

Pets Relieve Stress

The direct, emotional benefits of owning a pet go beyond owning traditional pets such as dogs. For instance, one study compared the effects of keeping a rabbit, a turtle and a toy on the emotional well-being of stressed adults. Whereas the toy had no effect on the emotional well-being of these adults, stroking the rabbit or turtle helped ease the stress levels of these adults. It seems that forming a connection with a living creature is the important thing. Another study showed that even keeping crickets could help boost emotional well-being. The key to improved emotional well-being seems to be the regenerative powers of exercising compassion and taking care of another living creature. Feeding it, taking it to the veterinarian, making sure it gets the right exercise, and other such things, are good for your emotional well-being.

Pets Improve the Physical Health of their Owners

We’ve all heard the saying that a dog is a (wo)man’s best friend. Research suggests that dogs, and more broadly, pets, are more than just trusting friends. There are physical benefits to living with a pet, varying from improved cardiovascular health and increased physical activity -someone has to walk that dog!- to lower cholesterol and decreased blood pressure. Overall, pet owners have a lower risk of dying from diseases such as cardiovascular disease, than non-pet owners. This is true even when you adjust for factors such as body mass index, smoking and socioeconomic status.

In fact, research shows that pet ownership is linked to longer, healthier lives. If you want the secret to a long life, getting a pet should be high on your list. You’ve heard that other saying: a healthy mind, a healthy body. Well, it works the other way round, too: a healthy body, a healthy mind. With better physical health, comes improved emotional well being.

Pets are Great Companions

The physical benefits of pet ownership are especially true for people who live alone. People who live alone are at a higher risk of early death than people who live with others. A person living alone with a pet has a 33% less chance of an early death, and an 11% reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, compared to a person living alone without a pet.

This is because pets are great companions who, because they are so dependent on their owners, prevent their owners from slipping into depression or feeling lonely and not taking care of their health. Having a pet prompts greater levels of physical activity and healthier living.

Report this Content
Featured

29 Things To Do in Myrtle Beach, SC Regardless Of The Weather

Both indoors and outdoors things to do in beautiful Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

744
29 Things To Do in Myrtle Beach, SC Regardless Of The Weather
Dahlia DeHaan

In 2017, I moved to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina - one of the most touristy places on the East Coast. And ever since then, I've befriended locals and done some exploring on my own to discover new, fun things to do in Myrtle Beach. Here are just a few of my favorites.

Keep Reading... Show less
Sports

The Birthplace of Basketball

The NBA Playoffs are here. It’s kind of funny that my history kind of started out in the same place that basketball’s did too.

3066
quotefancy.com

Basketball was originally created by James Naismith, a Presbyterian minister who taught P.E. at YMCA in Springfield, Massachusetts. He invented the new game to keep the young men occupied inside during the winter. Borrowing ideas from rugby and a game he used to play as a boy, “duck on the rock”, he thought of nailing up boxes to throw a ball into. He couldn’t find boxes so he used peach baskets instead. The rest of the rules he made up in about an hour.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

I Met You At The Wrong Time

At least, that's what I keep telling myself.

3081
Tumblr

I met you when I was in middle school and I thought boys still had cooties. I wore flared jeans, Aeropostale shirts, and had the dorkiest braces ever. I cared about what other people thought of me, and I definitely cared a lot about what you thought, too. You were older, and your friends made fun of me when I talked to you. I pretended it didn’t bother me, but it did. I sat two rows in front of you in class, and constantly tried to think of reasons to talk to you. Your hair was a curly mess. It still is. You graduated from middle school a year before me, and I missed you. I don’t think you even knew my name.

Keep Reading... Show less
Sports

The Problem With The NBA

Is the NBA losing to College basketball for some sports fans?

15826
New York Times

The annual ESPY award show put on by ESPN was created to reward athletes from around the world for their hard work, skill, determination and more. When Former NFL superstar quarterback Peyton Manning was hosting the ceremony, and in the opening of the show, he absolutely shredded NBA champion Kevin Durant’s move to the Golden State Warriors to create what many sports fans called a “super team.”

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Why I Don't Believe In Religion

I used to be comfortable with religion, but now I'm uncomfortable.

16323
Rebecca Jarrett

I’m not one of those people who doesn’t believe in God because“if there was a God, why would He let such horrible things happen?” Saying that because sometimes bad things happen, there must be no benevolent higher power, to me, makes about as much sense as saying that because sometimes it gets dark, there must be no light.

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments