The Benefits of Having a Pet

Carmel Valley San Diego Community | The Benefits of Having a Pet

Photo by Nathan R. Yergler

“Animals are such agreeable friends –

they ask no questions, they pass no criticisms.”

 –George Elliot

 We all love that furry face that greets us at the door after a long day at work or school, but did you know that your pet provides you with more than just a friendly hello?  Research from Cambridge University and other research centers show that owning a pet can improve health, prevent health, and also positively impact social relationships.

Many parents today feel that owning a pet is just one more ‘dirty’ factor introducing bacteria to their child, potentially leading to sickness and allergies.  They are right and wrong.  Dogs, cats, and other animals are in fact ‘dirty’ animals, but their presence provides exposure to dirt and allergens resulting in a stronger immune system in the child.  This statistic was derived from James E. Gern, MD, a pediatrician at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunity.  Gern examined the blood of babies immediately after birth and 12 months later.  He learned that if a dog was present in the home, the likelihood of that infant having pet allergies was 19% where as an infant not living with a dog had a 33% chance of pet allergies.

Pets are good for the heart and mind too.  Heart attack patients with pets are shown to have lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels, less sign of heart disease, and an overall longer survival rate than those without pets.  Like other enjoyable activities, playing with a dog can excite nerve transmitters that lead to pleasurable and calming properties thus, minimizing depression, stress, and loneliness among owners.  Alzheimer’s patients are also impacted.  Studies have shown that patients with pets experience fewer anxious outbursts than the patients without.  And then there’s the one we can all relate to: pets bring us joy and happiness.  There’s something about those big sappy eyes that gives a sense of unconditional love that we as humans yearn for.

You may not realize it, but your social life is affected by your pet as well.  Having a dog expands your social network by getting you out to the beach, Dog Park, or neighborhood (not to mention the exercise you’re benefiting from too)!  Also, pets are great conversation starters.  Bonding with another owner over breeds, tricks, and other pet related topics are a great way to meet and interact with people.

Isn’t it great that there are so many ways your pet is benefiting your life?  So next time you get home, try greeting your pet for a change.  Give him that extra hug that says, “Thank your for ALL you do.”


Carmel Valley San Diego Community | Karli Swarez | Public Relations Director

Karli Swarez

The Carmel Valley Life is a community run and operated organization comprised of local leaders who come together to create a greater sense of community and to educate and inspire Carmel Valley San Diego towards a movement of community, connection and contribution.

Purpose: to serve as an example of what it means to be a community.

Mission: to create a movement of meaningfully contributing to our community by creating a resourceful site of valuable content that is managed and run by its community members.

Vision: to challenge the community to directly get involved in the development and continuation of the site by 1) sharing stories that inspire, 2) create projects that bring the community together to demonstrate compassion, and 3) unite in joint efforts to create an even better community.

Beyond Just Ourselves: to bring self-sustainability and self-sufficiency to communities that lack the ability to provide for the health and well-being of their members. Please see “Project Give.”



Carmel Valley San Diego Community | RIDE Cyclery Encinitas

One Response to The Benefits of Having a Pet

  1. A pet can definitely make you feel like the most important person in the world after a long days work. Sometimes they get pushed aside and not fully appreciated for their commitment. I try and make sure that no matter how full my hands are or how busy I might be that I give my boys the attention they deserve when I return home.

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