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Pets Provide Physical, Psychological Benefits

Whether they squeak, purr, or chirp, pets have been man's best friend for 10,000 years. In fact, according to The Zebra, 33% of the world's population owns a pet. So, what are the benefits of getting a new best friend? 


Having a pet is symbiotic, meaning it's a mutually beneficial relationship. They provide psychological, physical, and social benefits, then, in turn, receive benefits themselves.


Pets are great anchors and they provide companionship. According to NHS Radio TV teacher Andy Conte, pets are great to be around. "They give you unconditional love, always greeting you with the same excitement whether it's been 20 minutes or a week." Conte said.


Pets also make psychological therapy easier for people with post-traumatic stress disorder or other emotional issues as they reduce stress, anxiety, feelings of depression, and symptoms of PTSD. Building on that, they can offer a “calming presence” according to the American Psychiatric Association. 


There are also physical benefits in owning a pet. They promote exercise when someone chooses to walk them or play with them. This lowers blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels. They also improve immune systems, prevent children from getting allergies, and even prevent potential signs of cancer. According to Kevin Breslin, a professional dog walker, “My dog, Mckenna, encourages me to go on longer walks everyday. It's good for me and makes me feel at peace.”


Pets serve as a good icebreaker and allow you to meet new people. There are many clubs, organizations, and groups that provide pet owners with opportunities to socialize and get advice.


There aren't enough homes for pets as there is an overpopulation problem. Adopting a shelter helps lessen the issue and could save their life as millions of animals get euthanized by shelters every year. 


Even though having a pet is symbiotic, they shouldn’t be adopted unless the person is sure they’re ready to provide a good home for them. Things like scheduling, money, allergies, environment, and knowledge must be considered before adopting a pet.