The Power of pets
Caring for small pets

The Power of pets

31 August 2017

Big or small, long hair, short hair…there’s no denying that our pets have special powers!

When you make the decision to get your first pet I don’t think that you can really appreciate the true impact that they’re going to have on your life. They very quickly become part of the family and houses become homes.

It may sound strange, and contrary to what we expect, but having a furry friend in the home can help to ward off allergies. This is especially common in young children with developing immune systems.  Studies have found that the risk of allergies can be reduced by 33%.

Socialization skills are improved.  Pets can help people connect.  Some people can often find it a little difficult to interact but having a pet can help break down barriers in social situations and this in turn, improves confidence. Deep breaths!  Stress levels are reduced and cardiovascular health is improved.  Whether you’re out riding your horse, walking your dog or just entertaining your rabbit or guinea pig whilst they’re having a bit of grass time.  It all helps to contribute to lowering cortisol levels which help you feel calmer.

If you have a pet that needs walking, this provides a perfect excuse to get out into the fresh air and take more exercise - If you have your own dog this is easy to increase your daily step count as well as that of your furry friend. However, if you are unable to commit to becoming a dog owner, you could always offer to help by offering to walk one for a neighbour or friend, or volunteer at a local animal sanctuary to help walk their dogs and to improve your health and wellbeing at the same time.

Alternatively, what not consider the benefits of adopting a smaller furry friend? Small herbivores such as rabbits, guinea pigs and chinchillas are easier to look after than larger pets, but offer the same powerful wellbeing benefits as larger and more high maintenance options.

Small pets are generally easier and cheaper to care for; from feeding and housing to grooming routines, and these great furry friends all offer the same stress-busting powers as larger animals - just 5 minutes of petting and playing with your small pet per day is scientifically proven to help lower stress levels and anxiety, and generally improve your mood. What better reason to take the plunge?

There’s no better feeling than unconditional love and this is something you can be sure to get from your pet.  Loneliness can be extremely difficult and an increasing problem with the elderly or for anyone who live alone.  Having companionship from an animal can help ease these feelings and help people gain a sense of purpose.

If you are considering getting a pet, please consider adopting one from your local pet rescue or animal sanctuary who are sure to have many lovable furry friends waiting for their forever home. You will be helping improve not only your wellbeing, but offering a much needed new home and a fresh start to a friend in need of a second chance at a happy life.