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The benefits of having pets are endless. To name a few, there’s exercising, having an excuse to go outside and socialize by taking your pet to a dog park, or training classes, and going for long walks. Routine playing with your animal can decrease blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

Having a pet can also lower depression levels and the sense of loneliness by their companionship. Bonds between human and their pet increases fitness which can help to lose or maintain weight, lowers stress, and brings happiness. First, you must find the right pet for you. If you are not one that likes to go outside that often, maybe you want a cat, guinea pig, snake, or a ferret. If you are one that likes to go outside and take walks, and you have the space, you may consider exotic pets like horses or other farm animals.

Things to consider when finding the right pet for you:

  • What does the pet eat?
  • How large will he/she become?
  • What type of habitat will be needed to keep the pet healthy?
  • What type of exercise will your pet need?
  • Are pets allowed in your apartment, condominium, or house?
  • Are there young children, older people or people with weak immune systems who will care for or be around the pet?
    – This one is important because children under 5 years of age, adults over 65 and people with weakened immune systems can catch diseases spread between animals and humans. This is known as Zoonotic Disease. Pregnant women could also be at risk. So, you want to be sure you take into consideration all aspects of your home and life when finding the perfect pet for you.
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The list is endless! You want to be sure that you do all necessary research on your pet to know what you will need to have to provide the best home. A new study shows that pets can help create human to human friendships and social support both of which are good for long-term health. If you are looking for social networking, research shows that pet owners are 60% more likely than non-pet owners to get to know people in their neighborhoods that they had not known before. When owner looks into pets’ eyes, there is a hormone released called oxytocin. This hormone is also known as the “love hormone” and it increases in both owner and pet. This helps further cement the bond between the pet and owner.

Long term effects include living longer. One of the reasons for this is that it creates a wider social circle. Studies show that people with great social networks live 50% longer than those with limited networks. There are many people who have trouble making in-person connects, so it may be beneficial to get a pet to help you grow your circle. Some pets, like dogs, can be good ice breakers for new friendships. Dogs naturally want to know about each other, so it helps the owners get to know each other, too.

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