Five Benefits of Pet Ownership

How has your pet enriched your life? A recent Petco survey of more than 5000 pet parents answers that question with five of the most common responses.

There are hundreds, thousands, if not millions of reasons to love your pet. In honor of reaching one million Facebook “pet fans”, Petco conducted a survey on how pets make life one million times better. Listed in order of most popular sentiment, nearly 5,000 pet parents responded by saying:

1)    He/She Loves Me No Matter What: No matter whom you are, where you’re from or what you do, a pet’s love is unconditional. According to a survey conducted by Petfinder.com, almost half of the pet owners surveyed admit they sometimes talk to their pet. And 80% of those people stated that on those occasions, the animal seemed to respond by means of sounds, facial expressions, or body language. In other words, your pet is always there when you need them to provide a comforting hug or a big, wet kiss!

2)    He/She’s My Best Friend: Pets are constant companions that make us laugh, keep us company and provide an outlet for pet parents to voice any problems without judgment. Pets can offer companionship, acceptance, feelings of safety and being needed. In fact, according to the Economist, dogs have been know as “man’s best friend” for over 20,000 years! Cats, hamsters, turtles, fish or whatever your pet preference may be, they provide a friendship all its own. Pets are loyal and offer a friendship that differs from any other.

3)    He/She Makes Me Laugh: According to an article in the New York Times, the familiar feeling of laughter triggers an increase of feel-good chemicals in the brain. No matter what kind of pet, our furry friends have quirks that provide constant comedy. Whether it’s a bird that mimics funny sayings, a cat chasing his tail, a dog in a pet fashion show, or a hamster running his ball all over the house, our pets’ curious nature keep the laughs coming.

4)    He/She’s The Perfect Stress-Reducer: Sometimes nothing beats cuddling up next to your dog or cat, or taking care of your pet to help provide a positive outlet for stress. According to the National Help Call Center, pets reduce stress, help pet parents deal with loss or grief, make depression less likely and can be especially encouraging for the elderly. Just petting a dog for 15 minutes releases the feel-good hormones serotonin, prolactin and oxytocin, and lowers the stress hormone cortisol, a University of Missouri-Columbia study says. So it’s not only your pet that finds solace in a belly rub; interacting with pets is proven to provide tranquility for you as well.

5)    He Gets Me Off The Sofa: Just like humans, pets of all ages and activity levels need regular exercise to stay healthy. It’s not a bad thing that our four-legged buddies stare at us with their pouty eyes, begging us to get off the couch and take them for a walk. Exercising with your pet can lead to a lifetime of good health and good times. According to Michigan State University, not only are dog owners more likely to take regular walks, but new research shows that people who walk their dog are more active overall than people who don’t have dogs.

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