The benefits of pets

Most of us don’t even question the benefit of having a cat or a dog (or both!) in our lives. Our pets are brilliant companions, and they help make our homes feel complete. But did you know that your pet can improve your life in other ways, too?
Woman stroking dog's chin
Woman stroking dog's chin
Woman stroking dog's chin

Having a pet can help you stay active.

Having a dog can significantly increase the amount of exercise you do on a regular basis – and you might not even notice it! While it can be difficult to motivate ourselves to go for a walk alone, when we knew our dog needs exercise, we often don’t think twice. All those strolls through the park and adventures in the wood add up.

Even playing games with your dog counts as exercise. You’ve probably noticed how tired you feel after a long game of ‘fetch’, even though your dog is the one who’s been running around. One of the biggest benefits of dogs is the way they encourage you to be more active, which supports your health as well as theirs.

It’s not just dogs who encourage us to exercise. Playing with your cat is also a great way to stay active in the home, as many cat owners will know!

Bengal cat playing

Having a dog is a great way to meet new people

One of the unexpected benefits of dog ownership is the way they add to your social life. Going to obedience classes, saying ‘hello’ to other dog walkers when you go to the park with your canine companion – there are dozens of ways in which your dog makes you more sociable.

Your dog will get you out and about, trying things you never considered before and introducing you to new experiences. Whether you’re going to a new pet shop or exploring a new area to make your dog’s daily walk more interesting, you’re bound to see new people all the time. You’re unlikely to stop for a chat with a stranger when you’re walking by yourself, but we all know how easy it is to talk when our dogs want to make friends. And no matter how different we are, we have sometime in common – our highly sociable, friendly dogs!

Pets are great for your blood pressure

One of the most fascinating benefits of cats and dogs is their amazing ability to make us feel calm - and that has a brilliant effect on our health. Stroking our pet for as little as fifteen minutes can cause our brains to release feel-good chemicals and, in some cases, reduce our blood pressure.

All of this is great for our health in general. Our blood pressure has a big effect on our wellbeing, after all. So next time you feel stressed, down, or just need some time out, give your pet some TLC – you’ll both feel the benefit!

Two small dogs meeting on grass

Pets are brilliant companions

It’s almost impossible to feel lonely when your dog is by your side, and for good reason. Most dogs are highly sociable, and they love company, whether it’s canine or human. When your dog enthusiastically greets you after a day at work, or looks forward to being taken on their favourite walk, you know you always have a friend by your side.

The benefits of cats aren’t as obvious, but they’re just as important. The stereotype that cats are less affectionate than dogs isn’t anything to worry about; it’s entirely possibly to form a meaningful bond with your feline friend, and they’ll enjoy returning your affection, even if it isn’t immediate.

It seems like our pets always know how to cheer us up, and in turn, we want them to be as happy as possible. The brilliant relationships we have with our pets is testament to their personalities, loyalty and happiness – they really are the best companions in the world!

They teach us valuable skills

Dog owners know that training requires time, effort and patience – all things that are useful in other aspects of our lives. But that isn’t the only thing having a pet teaches us. From enjoying the great outdoors to appreciating the smaller things in life, our pets really know how to lead by example when it comes to happiness.

If there are any children in your household, your cat or dog will also teach them about responsibility. Try making your child responsible for a certain aspect of your pet’s day – such as feeding them in the evening or brushing them at night (oversee everything yourself, though!) – and you’ll be encouraging valuable life skills that can’t be learned anywhere else.