Surely, the beginning of every new year is filled with hopes and resolutions for a better future. But since 2020 also marks the onset of a new decade altogether, it calls for an even bigger, better change—one that can make you happier and healthier like no other.
No points for guessing, I am talking about getting a pet here. A cute dog, a naughty cat, a sluggish turtle, a tiny guinea pig—whatever makes you happy needs to be brought home this year.
If you’re still not convinced, these science-backed reasons why pets are simply the best thing that can happen to you, will land you right outside a pet shop, I bet:
1. Do it for the sake of a stress-free year ahead
A study conducted in Sweden observed that female volunteers had considerably lower levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, post 15-30 minutes of interaction and cuddles with their pet.
This was accompanied by a considerable increase in the levels of the happiness hormone, oxytocin, in their bodies, within five minutes of being with the pet.
So, now you know where to find solace after a hectic day full of ups and downs, right?
2. And for the sake of a slimmer waist too
With a pet’s companionship and affection comes great responsibility. After all, they too need to be taken out for a stroll to grab some fresh air and well, poop! Right?
But you know what? Even this responsibility comes with a superb advantage. All the extra calories you burn while walking your pet can make you lose weight.
In fact, a study conducted at Michigan State University found that dog owners exercise about half an hour more than people who don’t have a pet. What more do you want from life, huh?
3. They can help you deal with rejection
Perhaps, your crush’s “I like you—as a friend,” literally crushed your hopes or not being selected for the job you were eyeing or the exam you were trying to crack made you feel low in the past year/decade. Imagine having a dog or a cat or a tortoise, who’d hear your sob story minus the judgements and made you smile with their unconditional affection through it all.
Well, this is exactly the calming effect of pet that a study published in the journal Anthrozoös talks about. According to it, the unconventional thinking pattern of most pet owners guards them against negative feelings and makes them stronger.
4. Your quest for a soulmate will get fulfilled
Why fear, when a pet is here? As per a study, published in the journal Aging & Mental Health, having pets can make one feel less lonely especially during old age, when one’s social interactions become lesser.
But, the same logic can be applied on millennials like you and me, who might feel lonely despite being surrounded by friends and acquaintances. A pet can surely fill up this void though.
5. Yep, you might actually find “the one”
No kidding about this one, girls. Apart from making you feel less lonely, your pet can play catalyst in striking conversations with people around and sparking relationships, according to a 2015 study published in PLOS One.
In fact, dog owners tend to have stronger relationships in their lives, or so, says another study conducted by psychologists from Miami University and St. Louis University.
6. So, consider your heart protected
Actually, this protection doesn’t just come from the fact that a pet will love you always and never break your heart.
A gazillion studies, including a Chinese one conducted in 2017, found that adopting a pet was linked with a reduced risk of coronary artery disease, heart attacks, lower cholesterol levels, and obviously, lower stress levels. Hence, your heart’s protected—literally, okay?
Bringing home a pet can surely be an overwhelming experience. Are you ready for it?