In a country in which 63 per cent of all families own a pet, i.e. over twelve million people, it’s worth bearing in mind that our fine furry friends are more than just something else to take care of. Australia is one of the world’s countries with the largest number of pet owner, a fact which could turn out to work wonders, health-wise. Research has shown that having a pet in the home can improve overall health as well as longevity for humans. Some people are reluctant to welcome a pet into their home, concerned about health risks, more work to do and the possibility that it could be detrimental for their children. Rest assured, nothing could be further from the truth.
Emotional Health and Your Pet
It is true that having a pet will mean a bit more work for the entire household. However, rather than being a risk, it could be a benefit by providing an avenue through which to teach children about responsibility. In addition to being a small-scale lesson for young children about how to care for a more helpless being, a pet also provides children with an opportunity to learn empathy, compassion and the ability to connect with others.
Findings show that people who suffer from depression can actually see improvement in their daily life and in their condition through the introduction of a dog. That furry little face gives depression-sufferers someone else to get up for and take care of; a relationship that is beneficial for both parties. Children with autism also benefit from having pets. Some autistic children who struggle with connecting to other people actually find it much easier to connect to a pet. That emotional connection makes way for further development of attachment to people as well. Often, dogs are used as a form of therapy to help children with autism.
Elderly and disabled people benefit from having a pet. Often, nursing homes and even children’s hospitals will bring in dogs that have been trained to behave well. The facilities often find greatly improved morale and emotional well-being among the people who interact with the dogs. Furthermore, according to current health insurance laws in Australia, some disabled people are able to enlist the help of a trained service dog who can help with daily tasks. Anyone thinking about bringing on a service dog should compare health insurance policies via Help Me Choose (a health insurance comparison site) to find out whether or not financial assistance can be provided to make the cost less of a deterrent.
Pets have been shown to bolster the emotional and physical health of owners. Studies conclusively give evidence that people who spend time around a pet are positively impacted in a variety of ways.
Physical Health Benefits of a Pet
The often-heard reason for not getting a pet is the added dust, dirt and germs presented to a new environment with the introduction of a pet. This is a fact that cannot be avoided, but perhaps a different perspective can offer some new light for the situation. Instead of a pet causing illness, many research studies show that children who spend time around a pet often have more resilient immune systems. These children are often able to recover from colds and sickness much quicker than their counterparts who don’t spend time with a pet in the home. In this case, the added dirt tracked in from outdoors seems to provide something small for childrens’ immune systems to learn to fight before real sicknesses come along.
Many people with dogs find themselves spending more time outside. If the dog needs to exercise, you’re more likely to take it out for a walk, thus providing you better health as well.
Counteracting the Cons
Financial impact is an irrefutable aspect of bringing a new pet into the home, but there are options to make the cost more affordable. Rather than buying a pet through an expensive breeder, try to find a rescue or shelter instead. The cost is much more attainable, and cats and dogs that are mixed-breed are less likely to have the negative health aspects of their purebred counterparts.
Feeding your pet high quality food will also delay major medical bills in the long-run. Yes, the food costs more up front, but it’s a minor cost difference that will pay you back in healthy years with your pet later. Avoiding obesity will also save you money on food as well as reducing the incident of vet bills down the road.
For the unavoidable trips to the vet, it’s important to remember that there are plenty of pet insurance providers in Australia. This might be a viable option for families looking ahead. Don’t be afraid to ask questions of your veterinarian and remember all the benefits, not to mention, once you take a look at one of those cute faces, you’re pretty much sold on the idea anyway.