Updated: Aug 3
It’s a truth universally acknowledged that animals bring joy the world over. We as humans love to watch them in person and on whatever screen we have on hand. They live in our homes and our yards and we can never get enough of them. But why is that? If pets of all shapes and sizes make wonderful companions, let us count the reasons why.
Here we will discuss why pets can be a great addition to your family – looking at the benefits of introducing one to your daily lives. From big and small, furry or fuzzy, and everything in between, pets deserve a place in our homes as well as our hearts.
Promote mental wellbeing and good physical health
Just being around animals promotes mental wellbeing and naturally reduces stress. They can also be comforting when dealing with certain mental health strains, such as depression and anxiety. Pets are often used in a number of psychotherapy treatments, including aiding those with autism spectrum disorder.
The act of petting an animal naturally releases the body’s “happy drug”, serotonin, making you feel calmer and happier. In fact, 94% of pet owners report that their pet makes them happier just by existing. This reduced stress also leads to lower risk of heart disease and stroke. So the benefits don’t stop with just your brain.
There are also a number of physical health bonuses from owning a pet. For example, babies raised in a home with a furry friend are significantly less likely to develop allergies and asthma than those raised in a petless household. And, of course, there are the natural benefits of getting physical exercise when taking your pet for walks and playing with them outside the home.
Create structure and routine
Routine is an integral aspect of pet ownership. Animals tend to march to the sound of their own drum. Your furry, feathered, or scaly friend will not bow to your pre-existing schedule. Once you have a pet, you’ll soon find that you’re running on their time instead.
Having a routine is beneficial for people of all ages, as it allows for a more structured day which can help to boost your overall productivity levels. This can help to ensure you get more done, have less hanging over your head, and provide a real sense of achievement on a day-to-day basis.
The beauty of this is that every pet will be different; and not just between species or breeds. Each individual creature will have a specific personality, with different demands. This has the added benefit of increasing your adaptability skills, as there’s a good chance you’ll have to adjust your life a little bit in order to accommodate your new family member.
Teaching responsibility and empathy
Owning a pet isn’t all fun and games. Pets require a lot of care and attention for them to remain happy and healthy. Bringing one into the family is not a decision to be made lightly. You should take the time to assess whether you and your children are truly ready for the commitment.
Keep in mind that children under the age of 10 should not be expected to have sole care of a pet, and should always be supervised when engaging with them. If your family is ready and willing to put in the work, you’ll find it a rewarding experience all around.
Taking care of a pet will teach responsibility through meeting their many needs. Not only this, but your
children will also benefit from increased empathy thanks to constant intimate exposure to another living creature – one they most likely care quite deeply for. While emotional intelligence is developed in a number of different ways during childhood, it’s clear that owning an animal could help children grow into more well-rounded individuals.
If you weren’t convinced already, it should be clearer than ever why owning a pet can provide many benefits to the family home. Now it’s time to start your research on which critter is the best fit for you and the rest of your clan.
PS- Here are our IBU volunteers, some of these family members have been around for a generation! Thank you Lin, May-Jean, Snidgha, for sharing these