If you are a pet owner, you know they can bring a lot of joy to our lives. But did you know that they can also have a profound effect on our health as well? Here are a few ways that pets help improve our health and overall well-being.
- Pets relieve stress. This is my favorite health reason to own a fur baby. Stress is a major issue for most people, but chronic pain and other health issues can push you over the edge. Chilling out with your pet is a great way to relax and unwind.
- Exercise. Dog ownership and exercise go hand in hand. Those daily walks are a wonderful way to get exercise. Movement is very important to people with fibromyalgia. Even though it can hurt initially, you will feel better over time. Dogs and cats both love to play. Tossing a ball or stick around the yard for Fido or a toy mouse around the house for your feline is another calorie-burner that gets those muscles and joints moving.
- Pets reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes. This can be attributed to a decrease in anxiety, blood pressure and cholesterol through increased physical activity as well as lower levels of stress and anxiety.
- Pets love you unconditionally. They don’t judge you. They don’t make you feel bad about yourself. They won’t stop loving you because you can’t do the things you used to do. They won’t put you down or make you feel like a failure. In fact, they do just the opposite.
- Owning a pet will make you accountable and responsible. You have to care for your four-legged friend. You have a reason to get up in the morning. Pets need you. They need to be fed, walked, brushed, loved, held, cuddled, and played with. Adopting a pet not only gives that animal a new lease on life, it could do the same for you.
- Owning a pet combats loneliness. Need a hug or want to cuddle? Your pet will gladly help with that. They are great listeners, too. Please feel free to confide in them. What you tell your pet stays with your pet. Unless you have a parrot, your secrets should be safe.
- Animals can actually take care of you. Service animals can be trained to call 911 if you have a seizure or some other medical emergency. They can pick up items you drop or alert you to things you may have forgotten, like turning off the burner on the stove. They are trained to help you take your medications, turn on and off lights, and many other functions that may be difficult to do yourself.
While all of these benefits are wonderful, there are a few things you should consider when deciding to adopt a pet. Make sure you can handle the animal. What is its temperament? Would walking the pet be a hardship? Are there extra expenses or extra care involved with the particular breed or type of animal you want to own? Are you ready for the commitment of owning a pet?
Owning an animal can be challenging and even expensive at times, but the benefits are priceless. My three cats are my children, my good friends, and my partners in crime. I don’t know how I would survive without their unconditional love and affection.
Note: Fibromyalgia News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Fibromyalgia News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to fibromyalgia.