The Pet Effect

Owning a pet has mental and physical benefits

Pets and therapy animals have been shown to help alleviate stress, anxiety, depression, loneliness and social isolation. Not just emotional benefits, our pets can keep us active. If you have a dog (or an adventurous cat), taking them out for a walk or run will help us get on our feet and get moving, even when we might not feel like it.

Pet ownership reduces U.S. health care costs

Did you know that about 80 million U.S. households have pets? And of these people who own pets, have saved the U.S. health care system an estimated $11.7 billion. The largest savings was determined based on a lower incidence of physician office visits by pet owners as compared to non-owners. Additional savings were calculated for increased physical activity for pet owners, such as dog owners who walk their dog five or more times a week.

Pets provide security during times of stress

Animal-assisted therapies can help provide diversion from anxiety-inducing medical experiences, providing a sense of security, while also encouraging interaction and activity often critical for healing. Something as simple as an affectionate nuzzle or a wag of a tail from a therapy animal can decrease stress and anxiety for patients and the hospital staff. When at home, your own pet can provide a sense of security and peace to help manage stress and anxiety, too.

Pets provide companionship, especially during times of isolation

Companionship is the top reason people choose to own pets. During times of increased isolation such as quarantine and social distancing, this is particularly important. During the pandemic, many people got pets to help with their feelings of loneliness and isolation. It’s amazing how our pets can be such a boost to our daily lives!