It is always a good idea to have a pet of your own. There are probably many reasons why you need to have a pet, but for many people owning a pet will bring so much fun and joy to their life.

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Do you have a pet, too? If yes, the good news is, it has benefits for both your physical and mental health. Here are 7 health benefits that you can have by having a pet.

1. Increased physical activity

The Health Benefits Of Having a Pet

Having a pet, particularly one that you can walk, helps you to get out more often. So for those who don’t enjoy walking or getting in some physical activity, having a dog that you can walk regularly may just be enough reason for you to get more physically active.

2. Improved heart health

The Health Benefits Of Having a Pet

Apart from the increase in physical activity, multiple studies have shown having a dog can help decrease blood pressure, and that people who have dogs, generally have a lower blood pressure than those without. It is because dogs can help to relieve stress and tension as well as making you more active. This, in turn, will benefit your overall heart health and decrease the likeliness of suffering a heart complication.

3. Lowers stress

The Health Benefits Of Having a Pet

Having a dog or any kind of pet that brings you joy can ultimately lower your overall stress levels. Just petting your dog or peacefully playing with them releases a relaxation hormone in your brain and cuts down any stress or tension you may feel. Dr Alan Beck, Director of the Center for the Human-Animal Bond at Purdue University, states, that having a pet not only decreases your own levels of stress but for your pet as well.

4. Teaches responsibility and discipline

The Health Benefits Of Having a Pet

Managing and taking care of a pet will teach you how to be responsible. If you don’t have children already, having a pet requires you to be responsible, disciplined, patient and the initiative to take charge of difficult situations. This type of knowledge and experience can also benefit you in other aspects of your life, such as work and family.

5. Encourages you to be social

The Health Benefits Of Having a Pet

With the UAE being a very business-centric environment, as well as the prominence of social media, human interaction is something that has been going in a downward trend in recent years. However, having a pet will encourage you to go outdoors, go to places you won’t frequently would and help you to speak with other people in the community who may also have a pet. With the added pressure of going out and talking with people through walking your dog, it may help you to be more social in other situations in your life.

6. Improves your mood and gives you a sense of purpose

The Health Benefits Of Having a Pet

People who have pets are generally happier. Dogs are called ‘mans best friend’ for a reason, and many studies around the world will show that. Having a pet can give your life a sense of purpose and satisfaction will follow whenever your pet is healthy and happy.

7. Boost baby’s immune system

The Health Benefits Of Having a Pet

Babies or kids that are raised in households that have pets are less likely to get sick or develop complications such as allergies and asthma. Especially at younger ages when babies haven’t even turned a year old, having cats and dogs around them can actually be a good thing and boost their immune system. Multiple studies have found that babies living in homes with dogs or cats get fewer colds and ear infections in the first year of their lives as opposed to babies who don’t live in that environment.

Please Keep in Mind

The Health Benefits Of Having a Pet

Before you consider getting a pet, be aware of the responsibilities that come with them. Always be wary of what pet suits your household and personal situation best.

Pets are another life form that deserves and need just as much attention as humans. Pets are not cheap. So before you consider adopting one, just make sure you have the financial resources to look after them. Pets need to be fed appropriately, cleaned and housed along with getting regular medical check-ups.

For the best advice on what type of pet you should get, assess your own situation and do some research about the kind of pet you’re considering and the responsibilities that come along with it. If your current pet is sick or not feeling well, find a local vet that can help you with all your pet’s needs.

Head over to the Okadoc app to immediately book an appointment with your health practitioner.