Do you know that owning pets results in a more productive life? Human beings have domesticated animals for quite some time for the purpose of food, clothing and most importantly companionship. When the term pets are mentioned, the idea that comes into most minds include dogs, cats, and guinea pigs. However, the type of animals that are kept as pets keep on diversifying in the sense that even aggressive animals such as snakes, lions, and cheetahs are kept as pets (Veever, 2016). Pets present various benefits in regards to the lives of human beings that include promotion of physical and mental health, improvement in social skills, and promotion of responsibility.
In regards to physical health, pets are viewed to contribute to a decrease in the risks of children obtaining allergies by an approximate of 33% (Gern, 2004). The analogy is that children who are surrounded by animals develop immune systems that are quite strong. It may not work for adults, but when children are exposed to animals, they develop strong immune systems and hence face fewer effects from allergies when they are adults. Pets also assist in health fitness through physical exercise. Good examples are dogs where they can be used as personal trainers. Dogs can be used to take long walks daily whereby an individual obtains the benefits of losing or maintaining their weight. Research by the National Institute of Health (2009) indicates that people who take their dogs for walks are less likely to suffer from obesity when compared to those that do not own dogs. Pets also fill their owners with compassion and love; situations that improve their health conditions. Scholars present the view that individuals who own pets have low cholesterol levels, low blood pressure and controlled triglyceride levels (Veevers, 2016). They, therefore, reduce the risks of suffering from heart conditions. Also, the owners that have already experienced heart problems, their chances of recovery are quite slow. Their presence also helps reduce stress levels (Veever, 2016).
In regards to mental health, pets also assist in dealing with emotional issues or simply blues. Their presence gives an individual a sense of purpose when one feels neglected due to their unconditional love. Their presence is mostly significant to people who are unwell and the elderly who are accorded Animal-assisted Therapy as a strategy of improving their health conditions. The Animal-assisted Therapy is quite common in nursing homes whereby it is applied on a regular basis. Pets also assist in controlling anger as their presence tends to bring a calming effect in homes (Veevers, 2016).
Pets also improve the social life by acting as icebreakers. They allow their owners to engage in conversations about them in terms of their breeds, names and how long they have stayed with the owner and many more topics. They allow individuals to get to know each other more as they become the point of discussion. The interaction, therefore, improves the social skills (Veevers, 2016).
Last but not least, similar to human beings, pets require care in terms of good food, shelter, frequent medical checkups, exercise and other needs. It, therefore, becomes a responsibility of their owners to ensure that they are adequately taken care of. Their care in return brings about a sense of responsibility which may positively influence other areas of a persons life such as work and social life (Veevers, 2016).
As stated earlier, pets present various benefits in regards to the lives of human beings that include promotion of physical and mental health, improvement in social skills, and promotion of responsibility. The benefits of owning pets make it important for us to consider having them in our households. So, if you do not own one, get one as soon as possible.
Gern, J. E. (2004). "Effects of dog ownership and genotype on immune development and atopy in infancy." Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 2(1).
National Institute of Health, (2009). "Can Pets Keep You Healthy? Exploring the Human-Animal Bond." National Institute of Health. http://newsinhealth.nih.gov/2009/February/feature1.htmVeevers, J. E. (2016). The Social Meanings of Pets: Alternative Roles. Pets and the Family, 11.
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