Pets are Fantastic Wellness Boosters

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Unconditional love is good for your health. Who knew?

There are lots of reasons to get a pet. You learn some responsibility, you get something warm and alive to hug and snuggle, and in certain cases, you get someone to watch your back. Pets are great, I don’t think anyone’s going to fight me on that (anyone with an opinion worth acknowledging, anyway). But did you know that in addition to love and snuggles, pets can actually provide measurable benefits to your health?

Studies have shown that pet owners have lower blood pressure and cholesterol, as well as just generally better cardiovascular health. Exercising with your pets helps keep you in shape, and being near them for a few minutes produces calming chemicals in your brain. Sleeping with your pet nearby has also been pegged as a great method for deeper sleep, since you get a feeling of companionship and security. Kids who live with pets often develop increased resistances to allergens as well, which can be very helpful later in life.

Behavioral psychologists have also noted that pet owners tend to be a little more social and empathetic. It makes sense; you spend a lot of time caring for a living creature, and the beauty of life will obviously mean a little more to you. People like kind, empathetic individuals as well, so your pet can help you make friends and meet people.

Now, of course, not everyone is qualified to own a pet. Some people don’t have enough free time, while others, well, are jerks. But if you’ve got the time (and money), a pet can bring a lot of good into your life, and you can bring a lot of love into theirs.