The modern-day pet is a participant affectionate exchanges, receptive to human emotions and often an important part of the family. And we bet that you have no idea of all the benefits that having a pet gives you every day!
One in two French people own a pet, be it a dog, cat, bird or small mammal (rabbit, hamster or ferret). Pets occupy a significant place among French households. There are many reasons why people get pets: for the love of animals, for the companionship they provide, for safety, and to share and create a real relationship with a living being.
The Animal: Life Enhancer
Numerous scientific studies show that pets, especially dogs and cats, are capable of communicating with humans, which then leads to a reciprocal emotional relationship. It has been proven that taking care of an animal enhances the mental and physical well-being of their owner.
Animals Influence Our Social and Personal Well-being
There are a number of studies and surveys that have shown that the presence of an animal greatly influences the human psychology. Taking care of an animal gives great satisfaction, which enhances quality of life.
Improved Health Status
Since the 80s, studies have shown that to own tropical fish in an aquarium significantly reduces blood pressure. Animals also have a good effect on stress, anxiety and depression. The presence of pet fish or positive interactions with a cat or dog lowers blood pressure and cortisol (the stress hormone) levels in the body. Added to this is an increase in hormone production that causes pleasure (such oxytocin, endorphins, and dopamine).
Animals also reduce loneliness by providing company, which reduces depression as well!
Many studies have been conducted over the years and have shown that the presence of a cat or a dog improves overall health by reducing minor problems. For example, according to surveys conducted by Facco in 2012, cat and dog owners make an average of 15-20% fewer visits to their GP than non-owners!
Having an animal encourages physical exercise too. Walking your dog twice a day is very good exercise. It helps owners to tone up, to lose weight, to reduce the fracture risk in older people, to lower cholesterol levels in women, and can improves the physical condition in pregnant women.
Having an animal provides the following: (in 1980, for Katcher and Friedmann):
- The possibility of taking care of a living being
- A sense of security
- Physical Contact
- The stimulation of physical exercise
Added to this is the fact that animals can reduce stress in everyday life. Cuddling your pet is a calming or relaxing activity because the function of touch is important for the human race!
Furthermore, dog walking, for example, increases social interactions with other owners or walkers. The animal thus plays the role of social mediator. Pets are a conversation starter with people around you. They allow you to identify yourself with the other owners, fostering a sense of community. They also allow us to reconnect with nature in a world that is being urbanized very quickly.