Bringing a pet into your life is beneficial for a variety of reasons. So many studies have been done on the mental and physical health benefits of having a pet, and many of those benefits can increase your lifespan.

From helping to regulate emotions and boost mental health to encouraging a healthier, more active lifestyle, pets can improve your health without you even realizing it! Whether you’re stuck in a rut or you know you need to make a positive change in your life, bringing in a four-legged friend can make a big difference.

Let’s take a closer look at how pets can lengthen your lifespan and the benefits you can enjoy along the way.

They Can Boost Your Mental Health

Studies have shown that simply petting a dog can reduce stress. Having an animal in your life can also help with symptoms of depression and anxiety. If you work in a stressful environment, for example, coming home to a furry friend can make a big difference in your mindset and help you to let go of the stress from the day – especially when you have to perform emotional labor at work.

Having a pet can also combat loneliness and keep you from feeling isolated. There’s a reason pet shelters across the country saw adoptions in record numbers throughout the pandemic. Loneliness was a big issue, and it’s also linked to several health problems, including

  • Depression
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Cognitive decline
  • Weakened immune system

Loneliness can even increase your mortality rate and lead to a shortened lifespan. Having an animal around can alleviate those symptoms. As a result, you might end up lengthening your lifespan, rather than cutting it short. While dogs might initially come to mind, a cat curled up on your lap, or even something like a hamster or rabbit can help to alleviate loneliness. They make great pets for the right people!

They Keep You Physically Active

Almost everyone understands the importance of staying physically active for your overall health. However, it’s not always easy to stay motivated. Pets can serve as accountability partners, but they’re also great motivators and encouragers if you want more exercise in your life.

Dogs, especially, need daily exercise, and something as simple as walking them around the neighborhood or going to the local park with them can boost your own physical well-being.

Pets increase your opportunities to get outside, and they can change up your workout routine. Instead of hitting the gym each day, you might end up playing frisbee in the park or running on the beach with your dog by your side. That change of scenery and routine can help make sure you don’t get bored with your physical activities.

When you take on the responsibility of a pet, it’s crucial to make their well-being a priority. That includes making sure you have adequate funds to take care of their needs, a home big enough for them to move around freely, and even the right car so you can safely enjoy outdoor experiences with your four-legged friend.

When you prioritize your pet’s health, you’re more likely to be conscious of your own. For example, it’s a great idea to give your pet quality food and supplements to ensure they’re getting the nutrients they need. Doing so can inspire you to start making healthier choices in what you eat and how active you are, too, so you’ll be around to take care of your companion for years to come.

Pets add so much enrichment to our lives simply by being themselves. By helping to improve both your physical and mental health, having a pet in your life can lengthen your lifespan and make every day more enjoyable.

Author Bio

Katie Brenneman is a passionate writer specializing in lifestyle, mental health, and fitness-related content. When she isn’t writing, you can find her with her nose buried in a book or hiking with her dog, Charlie. To connect with Katie, you can follow her on Twitter.


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