3 Major Health Benefits of Owning a Pet

Woman walking her dog on the sidewalk

Pets are more than just animals we take care of; they’re constant companions, loyal protectors and keep us entertained.  It’s no wonder we consider them members of our family. But did you know, pets are a big part of overall health and wellness, including physical, emotional and mental support? 

Given the health benefits of pets, it’s no surprise that pet ownership is so popular in the U.S. In fact, a recent survey found that over 68% of households in the country own at least one pet, with total pet spending topping $99.98 billion in 2021, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

In celebration of National Pet Day every April 11th, Sphere, a market leading presence in the healthcare and nonprofit sectors, is sharing 3 of the biggest health benefits that come with owning a pet: 

  1. Pets encourage you to exercise – For those who are dog lovers or have cats that enjoy going for walks, it’s worth noting that owning a pet can encourage regular exercise. A study found that dog owners were four times more likely to meet their daily physical activity recommendations. In fact, another study by the American Heart Association goes even further to suggest that dog owners had a 31% reduction in death due to cardiovascular diseases compared to those who don’t own a dog. Whether you’re playing fetch or going for a walk, the regular exercise that comes with owning a pet has significant health benefits.  
  2.  Pets reduce stress – Every pet owner knows that one of the best remedies for a stressful day is some quality time with your furry friend. Recent research has shown that spending time with pets can actually reduce stress levels in humans. The health benefits of pets go beyond the home, with 70% of pet owners saying that they would be more productive if they could bring their pets to work. These studies provide scientific evidence to support what pet owners have known for a long time: spending time with pets can be a powerful stress-reliever. 
  3.  Pets improve mental health – Not only do pets play an important role in our physical health, they also dramatically improve mental health. Pets have been shown to reduce anxiety, lower blood pressure, and improve the overall quality of life in individuals and even those struggling with mental health issues, according to the National Institute of Health. Overall, the positive impact that pets can have on mental health is undeniable and underlines the significant role that these furry companions can play in our lives. 

Whether you’re a dog lover, cat person, or prefer a different type of pet, the bond we share with them is truly special. As we celebrate National Pet Day, let’s appreciate the joy and companionship that our pets bring into our lives and the positive impact they have on our health and well-being. 

Meet some of the pets keeping Sphere teams happy and healthy! 

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