Why do people have pets?
According to a 2011-2012 National Pet Owners Survey, 72.9 million families in the United States have one or more pets, which is about 62% of all the U.S. households. This number was increased from 56% in 1988.
Why do people have pets? Why do so many people keep pets? People have pets for various reasons. Some people keep pets because of their physical attractiveness, some for their playfulness or other unique personalities and characteristics, while others keep pets for companionship.
While the majority of pet owners enjoy the attachment and fun their pet(s) bring into their lives, few paid close attention to the other benefits. Pets can help their owners relieve stress and loneliness. When you just got home from a long day of work feeling exhausted and stressed, there is that tail wager so very happy to see you. When you sit down on the couch and turn on the TV, there is that little fluffy thing jumps onto your lap meowing at you.
Pets such as dogs will definitely increase their owners’ chances for exercise and outdoor activities. Most dog keepers walk their pets on a daily basis. Thus, both the dog and the owner get fresh air as well as exercise to build their physical fitness. Dogs will also boost their owners’ opportunities to meet and to socialize with other dog owners, thus enlarging their circle of friends and enriching their lives.
Most fish keepers do tank maintenance at least once a week, such as water change for the fish tank. This involves carrying the buckets filled with water, which creates chances for people to get more physical exercise than if they do not own those fish.
In some cities in China, many retired old folks would carry their bird cages out for a walk to a nearby park in the morning, where they gather around with many other bird keepers. While the birds are socializing by singing with one another, their keepers are socializing with each other too. This is indeed beneficial for both the birds and their owners both physically and mentally.
Keeping pets can also increase our sense of responsibility. Unlike the wild animals, pets depend on their owners for food and shelter. Parents can take the opportunity to teach their kids to become more responsible, and more warm hearted if they let the kids to own and to take care of their own little pets.
In addition to the above mentioned benefits, there are health benefits for pet keepers.
A recent study at the University of Buffalo shows that owning a pet such as a dog or cat can help lower blood pressure. According to National Center for Infectious Diseases, pets can decrease the owner’s cholesterol levels and triglyceride levels. Some doctors have fish tanks in their waiting rooms and a study shows watching fish swimming in an aquarium has a calming effect and helps lower blood pressure.
Children in general love to play with pets and parents can engage their kids in some games that involve their pets. One such game is the “fetch.” Research shows that children growing in families with cats or dogs are less likely to develop allergies but will have a higher immune system down the road. Keeping pets helps reduce anxiety and enhance mood. Dogs and cats can also lower their owner’s risk of dying from cardiac disease, including heart failure. The list of health benefits that pets bring to their owners can go on and on.
Aside from the health benefits, pets help boost their keepers’ self-esteem because pets are not “snobbish” or “prejudiced” against their owners by their social status or their appearance. Whether we are rich or poor, good-looking or “ugly,” overweight or underweight, our pets just do not care. Their unconditional loyalty gives us a sense of satisfaction and pleasure.
Now that you have read the above, are you happy that you have made a good decision because you are a pet keeper? If you are not yet a pet keeper, are you planning on having one soon?
(If you have any questions or comments, go ahead post them on our Pet Forum.