Pets are incredibly important in many people’s lives and are considered to be wonderful friends and companions by millions around the globe. But more often than not, pets are cared for deeply, and even included in family events and activities, allowing them to become incredibly important members of our family that have wonderful benefits for our overall health and wellness.
Here are just some ways considering pets as family members can improve our lives:
The impact on mental well-being
Pets have become quite attuned to our emotions and behaviors, particularly cats and dogs, and tend to react appropriately to our mood, most notably trying to provide comfort or cheer us up when we aren’t feeling our best, whether through purring, licking, or simply providing companionship.
As only playing or cuddling with our pets can raise our dopamine and serotonin levels, we often feel much calmer and more relaxed when we spend time with our loving pets and are significantly less likely to experience anxiety and depression.
Similarly, the mere companionship of a pet can help battle feelings of loneliness and isolation, which can be especially helpful to older adults.
Benefits for physical health
Research has shown that spending your days with a pet you deeply care for can help to reduce your stress levels, and even decrease your risks of developing coronary diseases. As simply being with our pets has shown to noticeably lower blood pressure, considering pets as loving family members can be particularly beneficial to those struggling with hypertension or higher cholesterol levels, especially senior adults.
Additionally, caring for a pet always includes some form of exercise, whether it’s simple walks or more physically demanding playtimes that involve jumping and running. This means that our physical activity, as well as agility, is increased on a daily basis, allowing for an overall fitter and healthier body.
Pets as valued family members
Pets are not only loved and cared for as animals deserving of affection but are often seen as equal and valued family members as well. This strong, loving bond can often be seen in those deep emotional reactions when a pet runs off or is lost, or through those small, daily acts of affection similar to those ones would give to a human member of their family.
For example, apart from their own comfortable beds and an abundance of fun toys, pets also get their own car seats and special seat belts to keep them safe and secure, just like a human child would. Other pet owners decide to get beautiful Custom Pet Portraits ranging from elegant to amusingly comic, and then hang them up next to their other family photos, showing just how important and valued their pets truly are.
Increased social interactions
Apart from being incredibly beneficial for our overall health, the strong emotional connection we share with our pets can also improve our social lives, as many animal lovers find that they can connect with other like-minded people much more easily when they’re with their pets.
For instance, something as simple as taking your pet out for a walk can lead to interactions with other pet owners or start conversations with neighbors, allowing you to easily expand your social circle.
What’s more, the special networks that are based around the shared love for animals can also lead to increased interaction between humans and the building of close-knit communities, whether that means joining a dog-walking club or volunteering at a local shelter.
A positive impact on the community
When we consider pets as important members of our family, we start caring more deeply about other animals as well, not just our own. We start to think about how animals are treated every day, whether they have food and shelter, and whether they are living happy lives.
This then leads to increased advocacy in our community that allows for new animal shelters to open or for caring non-profit organizations to start, which do their part to keep animals safe, healthy, and happy, and allow us to make an incredibly positive impact on society.
Evidently, considering pets as loving and caring family members has a number of mental, physical, and even societal benefits that truly can’t be denied. Simply put, pets make our lives calmer, richer, and happier, and deserve all the love they can possibly get.