Puppy is sleeping on the couch and shedding hair with each snore.  Kitty just knocked over the potted plant for the third time this month.  Then there’s the vet bills, the food, the groomer.  Geez!   After all, what has Fido or Kitty done for you lately?  We like to think that we are the hero in our animal/human relationships but the truth is animals give back plenty.  Want some reminders of why we benefit from pet ownership?  Read on.

  • Pets make our children healthier.   
    • The Journal of Pediatrics found that kids with pets are less likely to develop eczema. 
    • Another study found that infants with pets developed fewer respiratory infections.
    • Multiple studies have found that Infants with pets also develop fewer allergies.
  • Pets make our children happier.
    • Pets provide unconditional love and help build self esteem and reduce loneliness.
    • Pets can provide a bridge for shy children to interact with others.  They give them something to talk about with other children and make it easier for peers to approach them.
  • Pets help us get out and exercise.
    • The American Journal of Public Health tells us that both children and adults with dogs spend more time in physical activity.
  • Pets help us live better and longer.
    • Multiple studies have shown that pet owners make fewer doctor visits, have lower blood pressure and are less depressed than no pet owners.
    • Pet ownership provides companionship and comfort to seniors.  It also encourages mobility and improves overall mood in the elderly.
  • Pets can be trained to help in amazing ways.
    • Dogs can sniff out, bombs and cancers. They can detect illegal drugs and let us know when we have low blood sugar.  Dogs can be taught to alert us to an impending seizure, and they can help guide the blind.  They will pick up a pencil for the paralyzed, hear a doorbell for the deaf or help locate a lost child.  Dogs will search a collapsed building or a snow slide.  They will provide company for our children and protection for home.  They entertain, comfort, protect, guide, carry, pull, swim or whatever else we ask of them.  Our pets improve our lives over and over in so many ways and most of the time we don’t even realize it.  In return we give care, love and shelter. Is it a fair trade?  Definitely!