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10.12.21 | Community

Benefits of Owning a Pet

Living a vibrant life includes everything from engaging in activities that reduce stress to spending time with friends and family. One effective way to encourage vibrant living and invite joy into your life is by adopting a pet. 

The bond between humans and animals is mutually beneficial and dynamic; while humans provide shelter, food, love and much more to pets, they give back to us in so many ways. Pets offer the kind of companionship that many older adults are looking for, which helps offset feelings of loneliness and other negative emotions.

Research published by Harvard Health found that pet ownership prompts people to live a more active lifestyle and even improves their social skills. Sometimes, it can be hard to find the physical or mental motivation to leave the couch or your house. That’s where dogs and other animals that require outdoor time come in — they keep you active and can lead you to discovering new interests, people and places in your community. The responsibility and routines that come with pets can be very advantageous to vibrant living, especially for older adults.

Pets can also alleviate mental health issues such as depression and anxiety by offering valuable emotional support. A study published by the National Library of Medicine found that exposure to pets dramatically decreased participants’ blood pressure and heart rate, along with other therapeutic benefits such as stress reduction.

This October during Adopt a Shelter Dog Month, consider welcoming a four legged companion into your life. Learn more about pet adoption and animal care from Chicago’s Anti-Cruelty Society and PAWS Chicago.

A cat and dog cuddle in grass.
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