The 11th of April is National Pet Day – a celebration dedicated to recognising the joy our pets bring into our lives and showing them the love they deserve.
There’s no denying how much of our happiness they’re responsible for. If you’re on the fence about introducing a new furry family member and need some convincing, we’ve put together five ways in which getting a pet is guaranteed to make your life better.
1. Pets can improve your mental health
Many studies show that our pets help ease feelings of stress and anxiety and that owners of furry, feathered or scaly companions are less likely to suffer from depression.
Stroking, hugging or otherwise touching an animal elevates our levels of dopamine and serotonin – which help calm and relax us and, ultimately, make us feel happier.
In addition to this, owning a pet practically forces us to make healthy changes to our daily routine – like waking up earlier or spending more time outside – which plays a crucial part in easing depression symptoms, anxiety, stress, bipolar disorder and PTSD.
2. Pets get you moving
Whether it’s a daily walk or run in the neighbourhood, a hike on the weekend or simply a game of fetch, there’s no denying just how much our pets get us moving.
Even in small doses, this can have a huge effect on your health – from helping you along your weight loss journey to improving your heart health.
3. They teach children valuable life skills
If you’ve got young children in the family, getting them a pet, like a rabbit or guinea pig, is a great way of teaching them about responsibilities, compassion, empathy and how to build strong relationships with others.
Also, having a pet to look after can also make children feel important, which helps them to develop a positive self-image.
Pets are also extremely beneficial for children with autism or other learning difficulties. Autistic children, for example, sometimes rely on non-verbal methods of communication, just like animals do. Learning how to connect with a pet may help them in their interactions with friends and family.
4. They add structure to your day
Many pets, especially dogs, need regular feeding and exercise regimes, and as we touched on earlier, sticking to a routine not only helps keep your furry friend balanced and calm, but you too.
No matter your mood, you’ll always have to take care of your pet. And forcing yourself off the couch or out of bed is the first step to breaking yourself out of a mental rut.
5. They help you to meet new people
Pets are huge conversation starters.
Whether you stop and talk to other dog walkers, passers-by at the park, or bump into someone at your local pet shop, having a pet can help you start and maintain new friendships.
Celebrate your furry friend this National Pets Day!
Whether you’ll be introducing a new pet to the family and need to get all the essentials ready in time for their arrival, or you simply want to show your long-time companion a little extra love with a new toy or tasty treat – we’ve got you covered here at Pet Shop Online.
In need of some recommendations or care tips?
We’re here and more than happy to help!