5 Scientific Ways Having A Pet Makes You A Better Person

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woman cuddling with dog and family

The great pet debate has been going on for years and divides people into two categories: those who have pets and those who don't.

Pets provide companionship and they will love you unconditionally. They are also a good way for couples to see how you would work together raising a child.

Pets can even help your relationship.

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I'm a pet lover. I grew up with cats, dogs, and, for a time, bunnies. They provided unconditional love to me throughout my childhood and into adulthood.

Now, I am a cat owner and one of the best things at the end of the day is coming home to see my cat. My cat is also a great travel companion. If I'm not going on too long of a road trip alone, I will take my cat with me — the trip goes by much faster.

When you are in a relationship, it's easy to rely on your partner to soothe you. But, your partner may not always be available or able to soothe you in the way you want. Sometimes, you may even go through relationship problems.

This is where a pet can be helpful in healthy relationships. They are always there to comfort you and help make you feel loved and cared for.

If you're not convinced yet, here are 5 reasons why having pets help you be a better person.

1. Pets can help you get a better night's sleep.

Studies have found that people report better sleep when sleeping with a pet.

Sleep is very important. You hear all the time that America is sleep-deprived. The best thing you can do for yourself is to get a good night's rest. This will help you with focus and it will also help with your mood.

2. Pets make people nicer.

Pets help you interact with other people and in more positive ways.

They are also great at greeting you, which helps make you feel better, making you much a nicer person.

3. Pet owners are less likely to suffer from a mood disorder.

Studies have found that pets are good therapy. They can decrease anxiety and depression and encourage playfulness and exercise.

Pets help you feel more secure and provide valuable companionship. This is good for your brain and your heart.

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4. Pets provide physical contact.

Studies have shown that you feel better when you have physical contact. Touch is good for you, physically and mentally, and is most especially vital to a healthy relationship.

You can't argue the benefits of touch. It doesn't matter if it comes from another human or your pet. Hugging naturally releases oxytocin, the hormone that reduces stress. It will also boost your levels of serotonin and dopamine.

So, go for it and hug your pet so you feel happier

5. Pets help create consistency.

Not only does being a pet owner help with happiness, but it also brings responsibility. Adding a little bit of responsibility to your life can help bring focus and routine to your life.

The responsibilities that go with taking care of a pet may seem simple. But, they help remind you that you can take care of yourself.

Pets are like family, so take good care of them. They will only love you more back for it.

People are more stressed-out than ever these days. Stress is the number one killer. Not only are pets good for your relationship, but they also help reduce stress, improving your health.

If you don't have a pet and you are thinking about getting one, it's good to talk it over with your partner. Discuss any fears or concerns that you have. It's not unusual to feel this way when you are thinking about getting a pet.

You can volunteer at your local animal shelter to see how you like it. You can also see what type of pet may work best for you.

With a little TLC, you will become a great pet owner. When you have a new pet, it may be helpful to hire a trainer, especially with a dog.

They do make great companions, but it may take a little work in the beginning.

Getting a pet may not be your typical relationship advice, but when you find the right pet, you just know. And your relationship will benefit.

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Lianne Avila is a Marriage & Family Therapist. Subscribe to Lianne’s newsletter on Lessons for Love to learn more about her services and expertise.

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This article was originally published at Lessons for Love. Reprinted with permission from the author.