Owning A Pet 2017-12-02T22:48:39+00:00

Owning A Pet

Owning a pet has been proven in many, many scientific studies to be good for you, good for your kids and good for your community. Here’s just a small summary of the benefits of owning a pet – as found by scientists. Note that the species in brackets are the species that was studied, NOT that the benefits only applies when you keep that species.

Do you want the benefits below for you and your family?

Benefits to YOU

– You are up to 40% less likely to die of a heart attack (cat study)

– You are up to 30% less likely to die of any cardiovascular disease including stroke, heart failure and chronic heart disease (cat study)

– Stroking your pet will reduce your stress, and lower your blood pressure

– Your survival after a heart attack is increased by up to 4%

– Your blood pressure will rise less when you are mentally stressed

– You may also have lower cholesterol (men) and plasma triglycerides.

– You are less likely to have minor complaints if you own a dog (possibly due to increased exercise)

– Your mental deterioration with age will be slower (budgerigars)

– You will have fewer visits to the doctor, on average


– you will have better self esteem and more likely to be able to cope with rejection

– you are more likely to take regular exercise

– you are more likely to have better psychological health and less psychiatric disturbance

– Pets provide a powerful buffering agent against grief and depression, including after the death of a spouse.

The Immune System

– owning a dog when the child is born can reduce the development of allergic disease (in families without history of allergic disease)

– owning a dog when your child is an infant reduces the risk of allergies and atopy

– Your kids will have less school absenteeism due to illness

– Your kids are more likely to have normal immune function Older People

– pets improve quality of life for nursing home residents, including reduced tension, confusion and fatigue

– pets can induce a social response in people with advanced Alzheimers Disease

– pets reduce the time spent alone

– elderly pet owners are more able to maintain activities of daily living

– pets are linked with better overall health in the elderly.

Kids and Teens with Pets

– are more popular in the classroom

– may be more empathetic

– have higher self esteem and a more positive outlook on life

– are more likely to exercise (dogs), including “family walks”

– feel more supported in stressful situations when the pet is present

– understand what it takes to care for an animal

– helps them treat others with a sense of care.


– pregnant dog owners are 50% more likely to achieve the required amount of exercise during pregnancy

– do owners are more likely to meet recommended exercise levels Pet Ownership In the Community

– is positively associated with social contact and interaction

– is positively associated with perceptions of neighbourhood friendliness

– increases the number and length of conversations with other people

– act as an “icebreaker” for elderly people or people with disabilities, including in wheelchairs

References: Pets & Community Health, How Do Companion Animals Help Improve the Lives of People. A review of the literature published by the Petcare Information and Advisory Service 2012. Images Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

This advice is of a general nature and is not a substitute for professional assistance. For issues with your pet always seek a vet advice.

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