According to Newswise, a 2006 study by Saint Louis University revealed that nursing home residents who received weekly 30-minute visits from a dog experienced significant decreases in loneliness after five to six weeks of visits. The study also noted that the loneliest individuals benefited most from the one-on-one time with the pooch. Properly trained pets are so easy to get along with, so it isn't surprising that individuals who struggle to engage with others find animals to be a great source of love and entertainment.
Admittedly the best pets for socializing are dogs, as they need to be walked regularly. Dog owners and non-owners alike are eager to talk with folks about the pooch they're strolling with. So the chances of your having an interesting chat with someone new while out walking the dog are very good. And the social benefits don't disappear just because you have a home-bound animal. Many people are interested in pets, so if you're short on conversation topics, chatting about your cat, bunny or bird is a great way to start off, and who knows where your discussion can go from there?
The DSPCA notes a 1995 study published in the American Journal of Cardiology that looked at a group of stockbrokers with high blood pressure. Researchers found that participants with pets had lower blood pressure and heart rates than those who didn't own pets. The study also found that those who had a pet were more likely to survive a heart attack than those who didn't have a pet. Sounds like a darn good reason to get out there and find the perfect pet for you!
Human beings are social creatures, and that means we appreciate both being cared for and caring for others. When you wake up in the morning, there might be a lot of things you don't want to do, such as figure out what to wear or prepare to deal with your boss at work. But when you know a little creature needs you to care for him, getting yourself up and going can be a lot easier. Having a cat purr and brush herself against your legs while you scoop out her breakfast is a warm welcome in the morning, and a dog running up to you in excitement when you announce it's time for a walk is always a source of positive energy. Caring for a pet can have more positive effects on your mood than you might imagine.
The biggest benefit that comes with having pets is, of course, unconditional love. A healthy, well-trained pet isn't going to fight with you or give you the silent treatment for days. Pets can develop deep, meaningful relationships with their owners, and so long as you treat them well, they will offer you unconditional love in return. In today's world, that kind of love can seem hard to come by, but animals offer it freely. So if you have the time and energy to care for a pet, both you and your new animal companion will surely reap the rewards.
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