Few Reasons Why Pets Are Important to Humans
According to a 2012 study, 44.3 million households in the United States own a pet. In fact, according to the American Pet Products Association, the U.S. spent $58.5 billion on their pets last year, up from $55 billion in 2011 and nearly double what was spent a decade ago. The figures for pet ownership around the world are equally staggering:
They say a dog is man’s best friend, but they aren’t the only animals close to humanity’s heart. According to historians and archaeologists, dogs were the first domestic animal. The history of domestication is complicated and different animals played different roles. Keeping pets is part of this history. Why are pets important to humans? Here are ten reasons:
. Pets help people manage loneliness
Pets offer companionship. This is especially beneficial to people who live alone. In a six-year span, pet ownership among singles rose by 17%, while it only increased by 1.37% in families. Among single men who live alone, pet ownership ballooned by 27.7%. These numbers suggest that pets help with the loneliness that often accompanies being single.
. Pets reduce the stress of life
The simple act of petting an animal reduces stress. As you stroke the fur or hair of a pet, both your body and your pet’s release oxytocin. This hormone is linked to emotional bonding and is nicknamed “the love hormone.” Playing with a pet also raises your levels of dopamine and serotonin. Studies show that pet ownership can even help during stressful situations. One study showed that people with pets have lower blood pressure during stressful events than those who don’t.
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