Why owning a pet can make you healthier + happier!

Most people who own a pet do so for companionship and love. Improving your health isn’t usually top of mind when seeking to adopt a new furry friend. But perhaps it should be. That’s because there are a multitude of health benefits of pet ownership and scientific research backs this up. Having a pet can improve your quality of life emotionally, physically and mentally. So, what are the health benefits of pets?


Top 10 health benefits of owning a pet

  1. Pets can make you happier. Studies show that spending time with a pet causes the human brain to produce oxytocin, the love hormone. Oxytocin can increase your feelings of happiness and contentment.
  2. Pets can reduce your stress. Stroking a pet can lower your blood pressure and also generate those feel-good chemicals, such as dopamine and serotonin, thereby making you feel more relaxed, trusting and less anxious.
  3. Pets can improve your fitness. That’s because you’re more likely to be motivated to be up and about with a pet. For dog owners, there’s even a term – it’s called the “Lassie effect” and relates to dog owners doing a lot more walking than those without a dog. Being more physically active is highly regarded for overall health and wellbeing. Moving more protects your heart, improves blood sugar control, prevents weight gain, strengthens bones, lowers cancer risk, reduces pain, plus improves your sleep and your mood. Happy days!
  4. Pets can improve your immune system. Owning a pet exposes us to a more diverse range of microbes that help strengthen our immunity. Research shows that dog owners have higher levels of immunoglobulin A, which is an antibody that fights infection.
  5. Pets can make you laugh. They say that laughter is the best medicine and you tend to get lots of laughs when you own a pet! They just do funny things and keep you entertained. You’ll never be short of a giggle with a cat or dog for company.
  6. Pets can improve your social life. That’s because pets are great ice breakers. They can help you strike up conversations with strangers and interact comfortably with new people. Your pet is surely your pet topic of conversation!
  7. Pets offer emotional support and no judgement. Your pet will always listen and never say nasty things! They stand by, no questions asked (except “when is dinner?”).
  8. Pets can make you more caring. Studies show that owning a pet tends to make you a more empathetic person. Behavioural psychologists say that children who own pets develop skills for nurturing and caring, which helps them develop into more understanding adults.
  9. Pets are great for your mental health. Life not treating you well? Looking after a pet helps you deflect from your situation and gives you a wider perspective. Pet owners enjoy companionship, love and are less likely to suffer from loneliness or depression. A pet gives you a reason to get up in the morning.
  10. Pets can help you heal. Ever heard of ward dogs in hospitals and in aged care homes? Well, they’re becoming more common. And that’s because it’s been shown that patients do better when they interact with animals. Studies also show that pet owners over the age of 65 years have 30% fewer visits to the doctor than those without pets.


“Given that pets can make you happier and healthier,
it’s a wonder more people don’t own pets!”
Your four-legged friend is making a giant contribution to your health and happiness, so make sure you return the favour… Feed your pet the best and boost their health, vitality and longevity with the range of fresh and delicious options from Paringa Pet Foods. We have these handy guides to help you choose the right dog food or cat food. Or visit our shop to start making your selections.