Furry facts: the health benefits of pets

Each year in the UK, the 20th February marks National Love Your Pet Day.

While this might not be a hugely well-known celebration – it’s something we at Komplex Health think is an excellent idea!

Because it’s a proven fact that our furry, feathery and fishy friends boost our wellbeing.

Here are some of our favourite health benefits of pets, proving owning one really can boost your health…

Top 10 Health Benefits of Owning a Pet

  1. These pups were made for walking:
    Walking your dog has lots of positives: a release of endorphins, increasing your step count, and a dose of Vitamin D too.
  2. Constant companion:
    Loneliness is a huge factor in our wellbeing. So, having a companion with you all the time is a wonderful way to combat lonely feelings.
  3. Wellbeing boost:
    An incredible 87% of pet owners said their canine, cat or canary companion helped improve their mental health.
  4. Playtime:
    Playing with your pet can help to reduce your blood pressure, cholesterol level and provide a whole host of other health benefits.
  5. Brain boost:
    A study found long-term pet owners aged 65+ had better cognition and verbal memory than those who didn’t own pets.
  6. Hormone helpers:
    Did you know that petting an animal can actually lower our stress hormones? Stroking a pet also increases more desirable hormones like serotonin and dopamine.
  7. Stress soothers:
    And you don’t even have to cuddle a pet to benefit. Just being around them has been shown to reduce cortisol – which is related to stress and anxiety.
  8. Communi-cat:
    Some people with learning disabilities or autism find interacting with pets much easier than conversations with other people. That’s why some animals are emotional support companions, specially trained to assist people with particular conditions.
  9. Illness detectives:
    Incredibly, several owners have reported their dog has detected their cancer – sniffing or even licking at a tumour underneath the owner’s skin well before the owner has noticed it themselves.
  10. Inspiration:
    Pets have inspired several of healthcare’s most notable people. Reportedly, the experience of saving an injured dog’s life was the reason Florence Nightingale became a nurse.

Therapy animals:

Many settings have animal-related projects and visits because of the well-known health benefits of pets. Dogs, donkeys, cats, parrots help support those with a wide range of conditions, as well as visiting schools and care homes, for example.

So this Love Your Pet Day, here’s to all the pets who provide a whole host of benefits just by being our best furry, feathered or fishy friends!