Studies show that people with pets are less likely to be depressed. Many chronically ill patients also recover from their ailments or cope better with their conditions just by having pets. A research of over a thousand women in Maryland further showed that those who described themselves to be very attached to their pets experienced more overall happiness than those without pets and those do who have pets but are less attached to them. Pets can be everything to you without asking too much in return.
A pet helps you ventilate feelings and emotions. For many, talking to a pet beats confiding to a friend and relative. This is because unlike talking to a person, you can say anything and never fear reaction. No wonder, veterinary researches show that about 80% of pet owners talk to their pets as if they were people and that most of them think that their pets understand them and are sensitive to their feelings and moods. Besides, opening up to your canine or feline friend is a lot cheaper than a visit to a shrink who really basically gives you the same service.
A pet also lightens up a bad day every time. Who can resist not laughing at Fido's or Whisker's tricks? Who doesn't feel good coming home to a dog wagging his tail and jumping up and down at the mere sight of you however hectic your day was? Experts say that people crave for attention but have difficulties asking for it so the emotional response becomes intense when it comes unsolicited. A story goes that a paraplegic once burst into tears when a dog came up to him and licked his face. When asked why, he replied, "I've never had anyone so happy to see me in a very long time".
Not only does a pet make you feel special regardless of how you look or who you are, it also makes you feel needed. A lot of people like the elderly see no point in living after all their loved ones they've nurtured have gone away to lead their own lives. But pets are happy to be with you, and they give back a sense of self-worth. Pets will not only make you forget your worries about your own health issues while caring for them, but they will also make you want to take better care of yourself knowing that they depend on you and need you. On the other hand, living alone without a pet breeds loneliness that breaks down your immune system and encourages you to engage in self-destructive behaviors such as smoking, excessive drinking, use of drugs, and even reckless driving.
A pet also keeps you safe. Dogs, for instance, bark at anything unusual. They can also be trained to do specific tasks making them effective as guards. They can growl and scare a hostile stranger that approaches you and your family. Furthermore, there are many stories where pets save their owners from various types of danger: a dog alerting its master before a fire razes down their house in the middle of the night; a cat dialing the phone for help while its owner lies unconscious on the floor due to a heart attack; a dog barking incessantly until the mother came over to find her toddler drowning in a pool. By simply having a pet around, you'll certainly feel more secure and at peace.
A Friend Magnet
A pet helps you make friends. It wouldn't be so surprising if one of your closest friends is also a pet owner whom you've struck conversation with while walking your dog at the park or during a visit to the vet clinic or while enrolling your dog at an obedience class. Whenever you're strolling with your dog, you've perhaps noticed strangers stopping to pat or staying longer to talk. Pet lovers are everywhere so opportunities to strike friendships are countless.
In short, it pays to have pets, as long as you're committed to take care of them. It's a small task considering that a pet can give you something you rarely get from your human friends: unconditional love.