The benefits of having a dog or cat in one’s life are immense. Humans and animals have always benefitted from co-existence but nowadays science is becoming more aware of the therapeutic and medical benefits pets provide us.
In agricultural times people spent more time with animals in general so we didn’t need to think about the human animal bond because we already lived it. Now as we move deeper into a technological era we’re seeing in a more pronounced way the benefits of having a pet in our lives.
The benefits of having a pet are threefold
Cats, dogs and other animals benefit humans as therapy, companion and assistive animals. The rewards we reap range from mental and physical to social wellbeing and improved quality of life. They offer their help so willingly, you could be tempted to call it a form of unconditional love.
While animals may not replace medicine or assistive technology, they certainly complement it. Many therapies and healthcare plans are optimised by animal support. Even as pets, animals help us keep fit and social and make us feel loved and needed.
Here are three ways pets improve our lives.
|(1)||Physical health||Mobility and activity|
|(2)||Social health||Community engagement|
|(3)||Mental health||Emotional and psychological|
1. Assistance Dogs and companion animals help physical, mental and social health
Assistance Dogs benefit humans in so many ways. They’re highly skilled animals that help people with specific disabilities. Guide dogs, mobility dogs and autism Assistance Dogs are some types of Assistance Dogs most of us are aware of.
Several dog breeds make the best Assistance Dogs but even then, they need years of specialised training before entering the workplace. And seriously, it is a workplace – assistance dogs are the only animals allowed public access and they have to pass a dog PAT test first.
Assistance Dogs navigate public environments like shops, streets and more with an unfaltering focus. They need to be alert and attentive to their human’s needs so they can react quickly at every given moment. Read why can’t I pet an Assistance Dog to see why it’s important not to distract them.
The companion animals we call pets can provide simple assistance for their owners with a little training too. Usually dogs, they can achieve things like opening doors and collecting mail with some training focus. Some people go as far as to undertake significant training for their pet to help them across many areas of life.
Even without training, most dogs and cats naturally help reduce our stress and anxiety levels simply by being there with us. Research proves it. Read about how spending just 10 minutes with a pet can reduce your stress levels. Which leads us to…
2. Physical health
The science behind the physical benefits of having a dog or cat is on the up and up. The medical industry is taking note of the benefits of animal therapy, but we’re also seeing more focus on lifestyle benefits of having a pet.
For example, sleeping with your cat in your bed or sleeping with your dog in your bed has oodles of physical (and emotional) benefits. Long-term health can be greatly improved by having – or even fostering – a pet.
The benefits of pets also include lower cholesterol and even less likelihood of having a heart attack! Of course, if you suffer from cat or dog allergies, this can prove difficult and you may turn instead to options like art therapy.
Read all about the physical benefits of owning a pet, here.
3. Mental health
Mental and physical health are largely intertwined. Often something that improves your physical wellbeing will benefit your mental wellbeing too. Dogs and cats benefit us in both these ways by helping us engage with the world around us, both physically and mentally.
Animals are known to help reduce stress, which in turn helps us sleep better and even staves off depression. Our social worlds are often fuller as a result of a pet because they often wake us up on time, get us out the house and spark conversations with like-minded people.
Read more about the benefits of pets and mental health.
Benefits of having dog or cat health insurance
While humans have health insurance plans, animals don’t. However, with pet insurance you can give your therapy, assistance or companion animal the equivalent benefits. A pet plan helps cover costly medical procedures like surgery, medication, hospital stays and unexpected vet visits.
Blue Badge Insurance offers up to 15% off pet insurance and up to 25% off Assistance Dogs insurance. Protect your pets the same way they protect you and enjoy the benefits of a great dog or cat insurance plan. Start by getting a quote – just click below.