3 ways pets make us healthier and happier

While our species may differ, the love is universal

We love our pets for their cuteness, company, and craziness. Whether you have a dog, a cat, or something more exotic, you're not alone in thinking that your pet makes you feel great whenever they're cuddled up on your lap or buzzing with joy every time you walk through the door.

It has been shown by pet owners' personal accounts as well as more scientific research that pets can make us healthier and happier just by being around. Being a pet owner is a responsibility, but the rewards we get from our furry, or scaly, or feathered friends pay off in so many positive ways.

If you're already a pet owner, rejoice in knowing that not only are you taking care of an animal that may not have otherwise wound up in a loving home, but their presence is beneficial to your life too. And if you're on the fence as to whether or not adopt a pet, you'll surely be ready to become an owner after reading the uplifting information below.

1. They Keep Us Active

Whether you're obligated to take the dog out for a walk, delight in spending hours playing fetch, or just find yourself chasing your mischievous pet around the house, pets keep us active, if not for our own sake, but for their well-being.

According to Live Happy, "People who own dogs (and walk them) tend to be more active than those who don't. A Michigan State University study found that folks who walked their dogs exercised 30 minutes more per week than non-dog owners."

While a (human) friend may not always be available for a brisk stroll, your pooch is always eager to get outside and move. Perhaps they're looking out for us too!

Once you're used to an uptick in activity each day, it will become a positive habit. Play with your pets regularly and not only will you see the enjoyment on their faces, but you'll both be more physically fit as a result.

2. They Reduce Stress

After a long day at work or an argument with your partner, have you noticed that stroking your pet is not only relaxing for them but soothes you as well? Pets are excellent stress relievers due to their non-judgmental companionship and snuggle-by-your-side comfort.

As per Top 10 Home Remedies, "A 2012 study published in Research and Theory for Nurses Practice suggested that interaction with canines may help reduce the biological effects of stress that influences human health."

Happify adds, "Adopting a dog or cat brought down blood pressure levels better than medication in a study of hypersensitive New York City stockbrokers and Swedish researchers found that interacting with a dog reduces heart rate and the stress hormone cortisol."

Looks like Fido and Felix really know how to not sweat the small stuff!

3. They Love Us Unconditionally

We've all lost friends due to what now seem like silly squabbles and have been criticized by relatives for how we live our lives. No issues like those with pets! Our fuzzy family members never hold a grudge and are always willing to forgive and forget.

When you're feeling blue or have been busy with work leaving less time for belly rubs and ball tossing, your pet will be patiently waiting with a wagging tail to keep you company and play when you're ready… no judgement.

According to Animal Planet, "Not only are they known to they offer unconditional love, but they may also give their owners a sense of purpose, which can be crucial for those feeling down in the dumps. Pets also combat feelings of loneliness by providing companionship, which can boost your overall mood and even bring you feelings of joy and happiness."

Pets teach us care and compassion. They make us feel happy just because they exist. They're companions for life and the most loyal of friends.

Pets really do make an impact on human lives. While our species may differ, the love is universal.