There’s a reason why dogs are called “man’s best friend” and why cats have charmed their way into our hearts for centuries. Owning a pet is about more than puppy snuggles and head boops—it provides a plethora of benefits and enriches our lives in countless ways. At Lytle Veterinary Clinic, we’re passionate about celebrating the incredible journey of pet ownership. Here are six advantages of living life with a furry (or not-so-furry) companion by your side.

#1: Unconditional love and companionship

According to the American Pet Products Association (APPA), nearly 70% of U.S. households include at least one pet, which is no surprise considering the comfort and joy they bring to our lives. Pets have an amazing way of offering unconditional love and companionship. Your pet will love you through bad days, questionable decisions, and relationship troubles. And, they always seem to know when you need a shoulder to cry on or cheering up. Best of all, they’re there to greet you with a tail wag or a purr after a long day.

#2: Improved mental health

Studies have shown that spending quality time with a pet can significantly reduce stress levels and improve mental health. In fact, the Human-Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) reports that pet owners are 74% more likely to laugh and feel happy on a regular basis. Simply taking your dog for a walk or petting your cat can trigger the release of feel-good hormones like dopamine and serotonin. 

The next time you are feeling stressed or anxious, play fetch with your dog or have a snuggle session with your cat. We bet you’ll feel better quickly!

#3: Better physical health

Studies show that people who own pets are more active than those who don’t. Regular exercise with your pet, whether walking through the neighborhood or hiking a new trail, contributes to a more active lifestyle, which can lead to improved heart health. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shares that pet owners tend to have lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, reducing their risk of heart disease. If you are considering adopting a pet, think of it as a step toward a healthy future!

#4: Companionship

There is no doubt that pets make wonderful companions. Many people benefit from the company of a loving pet, especially those who live alone.  A HABRI survey revealed that 85% of respondents agree that interacting with animals helps reduce loneliness. A pet can support a child through adolescence, or motivate an older person to get out of bed. In many cases, the companionship and responsibility of caring for a pet can foster a sense of purpose. More than 23 million households added a per during the pandemic, showing that people often turn to pets when they feel lonely, sad, or isolated. 

#5: Social connections

Pets make great icebreakers and can provide opportunities to make connections with other pet owners, forging bonds through a shared love for your furry companions. Whether it’s striking up a conversation at the dog park, exchanging stories at the vet’s office, or joining online pet-related social groups, owning a pet provides an instant conversation starter and common ground. These connections can lead to lasting friendships, support networks, and a sense of belonging in a community of fellow pet enthusiasts. 

#6: Teaching responsibility

Kids who grow up with pets have the opportunity to learn responsibility, empathy, and compassion. These important life skills translate to many other situations and can help them form healthy relationships and be successful. Kids of all ages can participate in caring for a pet. Young children can help at mealtimes, while older children can walk the dog, clean up the yard, or scoop the litter box.

The perks of pet ownership reach beyond snuggles and playtime, including tangible benefits for your physical and mental health. You can repay your pet’s loyal companionship by providing routine wellness care at Lytle Veterinary Clinic.  Give us a call to schedule your pet’s next appointment, so we can celebrate the incredible bond you share with your pet through quality pet care.