According to StatisticBrain, 62% of households in America own a pet. Out of that 62% the two most popular animals are dogs (46,3000,000 households) and cats (38,900,000 households). StatisticBrain provides statistics for the amount of money spent annually on our pets. In 2016, Americans have spent $62.75 billion dollars on their pets. When that huge number is broken down into categories this is what we get: Pet Food ($20.46 billion), Supplies/OTC Medicine ($12.56 billion), Vet Care ($13.59 billion), Live Animal Purchases ($2.15 billion), and Pet Service: Grooming and Boarding ($4.11 billion). (Source #4)
These numbers are slightly overwhelming to look at, but for those of us who are pet owners, we know that our pets mean more than money or numbers. We love our pets, no matter what they might cost our wallets. Some people own a pet because they are cute and they want something to love and cuddle with, but it is scientifically proven that pets are actually beneficial to their owners.
Pets are beneficial because they improve the health of their owners. According to Lynette Hart, PhD., associate professor at the University of California at Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, individuals with Alzheimer’s have fewer outbursts of anxiety when they own a pet. Researcher Judith Siegel, PhD., says that AIDs patients that own a pet are less likely to struggle with depression.
Both the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institute of Health (NIH) conducted research on the hearts of pet owners. These individuals had lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels which all contribute to lowering their risk of heart attack. For pet owners that have had a heart attack before, their pet leads to better recovery. This is because pets reduce the overall stress levels of their owners.
Pets are beneficial because they improve the emotions of their owners. Owning a pet lends a sense of purpose to their owner. Pets fight against feelings of loneliness because they are a friend to their owner. Overall, pet owners have better moods. This improvement of mood is especially obvious among the elderly and the sick. According to Animal Planet, when the elderly or the sick participate in either Animal-assisted Therapy (AAT) or Pet-facilitated Therapy (PFT) their overall mood improved. This is why a lot of hospitals use these programs.
Pets are beneficial because they teach children valuable lessons. According to the Telegraph, owning a pet teaches children the value of responsibility. When children grow up with a pet they learn about feeding it, taking it out for exercise, and caring for it. Taking care of a pet shows children what it means to be responsible. Additionally, children learn how to deal with sickness and loss through the ownership of a pet. Learning to emotionally deal with sickness and loss allows children to cope with these same emotions as an adult.
If you can still find it within yourself to say no to adopting a pet today, then don’t let your children read this article! They might just use it as an argument to go out and adopt a pet!