Having pets isn’t cheap. Just one cat or dog can cost you hundreds, or even thousands of dollars a year. Especially as they get older and start having to see the vet more. But most pet owners would tell you it’s worth it.
Here are four ways having a pet improves your life, and they’re all backed by science.
1. They relieve stress. Studies have shown that just petting your dog or cat lowers your blood pressure and relieves stress. Which is even more important as we get older.
2. Pets help us raise happier, healthier children. Kids who grow up with pets in the house tend to have less anxiety, higher self-esteem, and better social skills. And being around a dog when you’re a baby is also good. A recent study found kids end up with stronger immune systems and fewer allergies if there’s a dog in the house.
3. They encourage us to be more social. Dog owners are five times more likely to know their neighbors than people who don’t own dogs.
4. They’re good for your heart. Dog owners walk a lot more than people who don’t have dogs, which helps out your cardiovascular system. But a recent study also found that any type of pet can also help if you’ve had a heart attack.
94% of people with pets live at least one year after a serious heart attack, compared to just 72% of people who don’t have pets.