4 Ways Pets Improve Overall Well-Being

(Family Features) Self-care is an important piece of maintaining a happy and healthy life, and adopting a pet can be a beneficial way to improve overall well-being in a number of ways.

From reducing loneliness to keeping people more active, the perks of pet ownership can be felt both physically and emotionally, and are nearly impossible to quantify. Plus, adopting a pet can be a feel-good experience, because you’re not only getting a new best friend, you’re helping an animal in need find a loving forever home.

Consider some of these ways adopting a pet can improve overall well-being. For more information on the benefits of pet adoption, visit Pedigree.com.

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Pets Increase Physical Activity
Adopting a pet offers owners a chance to improve daily exercise habits. From taking walks and playing in the yard to having a new partner for hikes and visits to the park, dog owners have numerous opportunities to be active with their four-legged friends. Cats also need playtime each day, providing cat owners with a designated time to get active while bonding with their pets.

Photo courtesy of Amy Handegard

Pets Reduce Feelings of Isolation
Pets have the ability to make people feel less alone. Whether coming home from a long day or taking a stroll around the neighborhood, having a wagging tail around can make everything better. The mood-boosting effect of pets is the driving idea behind a campaign from the Mobil Delvac™ and PEDIGREE® brands called Mutts4Trucks, which aims to make a positive impact on the mental and physical well-being of professional truck drivers while helping pets in need. According to research from DePaul University, nearly one-third of professional truck drivers said being alone and away from their families is a significant issue affecting their mental health. To help reduce those feelings of loneliness, the campaign is pairing drivers with shelter dogs in need of homes.

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Pets Encourage Relationship Building
Pets require walks, trips to the vet and grooming, which can get their parents out and into new settings and environments. When out and about, pets can provide a comforting presence for their owners and serve as conversation starters, helping to put their owners at ease and encourage socialization. Pets also provide opportunities to meet, mingle and make friends with neighbors while at the park, on walks or running errands.

Photo courtesy of Amy Handegard

Pets Help with Stress Reduction
Almost anyone who’s ever sat on the couch with a furry friend knows pets can bring a calming presence. Having a dog in the house can also help people feel safer and more secure in their surroundings. From comforting snuggles to a friendly tail wag, pets have an uncanny ability to help ease their owners’ minds and reduce stress.