There’s a lot to be said for the joy that having a pet can bring. Whether you’re a cat fan or a dog person, the chances are your life has significantly improved since you brought your furry bundle home with you for the very first time; indeed, you’ve no doubt noticed positive changes to your physical and mental wellbeing since choosing your brand new best friend. If you’ve yet to plump for a pet allow us to introduce some of the benefits you could be rewarded with from those earliest moments spent with an animal. After all, while there’s nothing quite as rewarding as the love and affection proffered by a pet you’re sure to recognize a host of other advantages too.

Pets can reduce a child’s risk of developing allergies

Studies have shown that early exposure to animals can reduce a child’s risk of developing allergies by up to a third, so little ones growing up with a cat or a dog, or a similarly furry friend, are more likely to benefit from stronger immune systems than classmates without animals. Your childhood pet may well be the reason you’re standing fit and strong today.

Owning a pet can lead to increased exercise

One of the most obvious benefits of owning a pet is the increasing number of chances to get out and about, particularly if that pet is a dog. You see, even smaller breeds need regular exercise, and so you’ll find yourself walking, or running about with relative frequency – whatever the weather. Even cats, rabbits and guinea pigs, and birds are likely to inspire a more active lifestyle, as you spend time playing with them. Your heart will never have felt so healthy.

Your pet can help to reduce stress and anxiety

Research has proven time and time again that owning a pet can do wonders for a person’s mental health and wellbeing; whether it’s the company you crave, or the relaxing notion of fondling a cat or dog’s fur, having an animal by your side is likely to offer the sense of belonging that you’ve been craving. Take a deep breath; the chances are your pet can sense when you’re worried, and will be there to offer reassurance, love, and comfort.

A pet can improve your general health

Whether you’ve plumped for a dog or cat, a rabbit, a bird, or a goldfish, having a pet can do wonders for your general health, lowering blood pressure and reducing stress and inflammation of your immune system. Pets provide a sense of wellbeing and belonging, which can mean fewer ailments plaguing your body – particularly when the weather makes a turn for the worse.

Pets can inspire a stronger familial bond

Having a pet at the heart of your home will provide an amazing experience for children, and bring your family closer together. We form strong, lifelong connections with our animals, which may often become a child’s first taste of friendship, love, and understanding outside of the familial unit. As well as teaching responsibility and care, a pet may also become an opportunity to gently explain death and loss to a child; a healthy interaction with such topics can stand a child in good stead for the future. A funeral or pet cremation service will provide opportunities to remember and celebrate your furry friend, while easing your child into the emotions that will follow.

A pet can aid social interactions

Social interaction and communication play a huge part in the human condition; we crave company, but can sometimes find it difficult to meet others with similar interests. Having a pet is a great way to break the ice with the people that you meet, particularly if you’ve got a friendly dog that can’t help but introduce his or herself to people! Designated dog parks, walking routes, training classes, and even social media appreciation groups can introduce you to all kinds of likeminded people and break the circle of isolation that you might have become used to.

Owning a pet can be a great choice for improving your health and wellbeing, whether that pet is a dog, a cat, a rabbit, or a goldfish. Sometimes we just need to know that we’ve got someone on our side when the going gets tough, regardless of whether that someone has fur or feathers. If you’ve taken the plunge and rehomed a pet the chances are you’ve noticed a few, subtle changes already.

Should you be considering having a pet remember the costs and responsibilities that are involved, as well as the benefits we’ve mentioned; we’re sure the right animal is out there waiting for you.