As you may have heard, “Dogs are a man’s best friend.” They are our loyal companions who stick with us through thick and thin, unconditionally. On top of this, they’re always on your side and are eager to see you each day. Many people consider adopting a pet once they retire. If you’re on the fence, consider getting one. Why is this? Because you want another best friend. Here are five other reasons why you would want a pet.
- You’ll reduce stress
You can’t avoid stress in life. While some of us are able to manage it, others may need more help. Studies have shown that interaction with animals is an excellent way to reduce stress. Playing or petting an animal has a physical effect on our hormones. Oxytocin, a stress-reducing hormone is produced in increased levels when we interact with pets, and simultaneously, cortisol, a stress hormone, is reduced.
Research also supports that pets can reduce high-blood pressure caused by stress. Animals help calm your mind and body, especially when you’re anxious. This is why there are now programs allowing people to spend a short time with animals to promote wellness and reduce anxiety.
- You’ll feel less alone
Pets are amazing companions that can help combat loneliness. With the capacity to love you unconditionally, animals offer a kind of companionship no human can. As Anatole France says, “Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.”
As well, animals are highly emotionally intelligent and understand your feelings. Dogs, especially, are acutely attuned to humans and emotions. They pick up on nonverbal cues like body language, tone and gestures. You can tell them about your bad day without having to say a word.
- You’ll improve your physical health
Not only can pets improve your mental well-being, they can also motivate you and keep you active. Dogs, especially, need to be walked daily. Owning a dog is a great way to encourage you to spend time outdoors and reduce anxiety and depression. By exercising regularly, you’ll lower your blood pressure, reduce anxiety and depression, elevate your levels of serotonin and dopamine, and improve your cardiovascular health.
Also, keep in mind that different dog breeds and animals have various temperaments and needs. For instance, a Siberian Husky requires higher levels of activity compared to a French Bulldog.
- You’ll gain a sense of purpose
Pets can help bring new meaning to your life. They help you feel connected to yourself and surroundings by teaching you mindfulness. Animals are curious beings who always live in the moment. They aren’t bothered by what others think of them, nor are they worried about the future.
For them, reality exists only in the present. You’d be surprised how much you can learn from your pets when it comes to enjoying life and appreciating nature. By practicing mindfulness with your pets, you’ll gain a greater sense of purpose in life.
- You won’t regret it
Lastly, another reason why you should adopt a pet is you won’t regret it. You’ll improve your overall health, receive unconditional love, and build long-lasting memories.