*My gerbils, Honey and Spirit*
Anyone who has a pet knows the benefits of owning a pet. The biggest one is they help fight loneliness. The second is that they give you a reason to be social and get out of the house because you have to walk them and take them to the vet's office. Maybe even take them to a store like Petsmart where you can take them in the store with you, they may even get a free treat at the register.
Having a pet can relieve some of the stress you feel, for instance when a puppy is wiggling, playing and giving you kisses. You are bound to smile and laugh, and laughing is a stress reducer. Not to mention that you might find yourself in a better mood after holding a puppy or sitting quietly on the couch just petting and cuddling with your small furry best friend.
If you are suffering from depression, having an animal no matter what kind can lift your mood and help with depressed feelings. Pets are also great secret keepers and can be there for you when humans can't. Because pets give you back unconditional love, it's easier to be yourself with them, even if that means you have a good cry and just want to cuddle with your Poodle.
Dogs seem to have an uncanny ability to know when their humans need playtime as well as quiet time and they will silently sit with you and kiss your face when you are down, hurt or in emotional pain. Getting attention from your dog at this time may make you feel better faster.
If you don't have the time or the energy to take care of a dog or cat, there are countless other animals that can have a relaxing effect on you. A brightly decorated aquarium with bright colored fish can be quite relaxing to watch. The rhythmic swimming the fish do, going back and forth can be watched for hours. Doctors and Dentists have known the calming effects of aquariums for years, which is why you may find large brightly decorated fish tanks in their waiting rooms.
Elderly people who are depressed, bored or disabled and can't get around very well are often pleased when someone brings their pets for a visit. Dogs make people smile and cats like to cuddle. There are a lot of animals out there besides dogs and cats that would also benefit from this human-animal interaction. Animals who are in the shelters awaiting new owners would greatly appreciate getting out for a ride and some time with people. Take these animals for a visit to places like rest homes, hospices and hospitals can make a difference in both the human and animal's lives.
Kids who have pets at young ages learn how to be responsible pet owners as adults as well as learning how to be gentle with animals.