​​​​7 Reasons Pet Owners are Happier and Healthier

Marisa Anderson

Marisa Anderson | Featured Writer

Hi there! My name is Marisa and my dogs are my life! When I’m not creating awesome pet-centric content, I’m enjoying the California sunshine with my two trusty (and equally adorable) yorkie sidekicks, Bella and Rocky.

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When you look into your dog’s eyes you are seeing a connection that goes back over ten thousand years.

Long before they were domesticated, dogs have been our companions, travel buddies, and best friends. In fact, a couple of years ago, a 12,000 year old human skeleton was found in Israel with its hands resting on the skeleton of a 6 month old wolf pup.

Along with companionship, studies have found that having a pet makes us calmer, happier, and healthier.

“We found that pet owners, on average, were better off than non-owners, especially when they have a higher-quality relationship with their pets,” – pet researcher Allen R. McConnell, PhD (WebMD).

Here are just seven of the many reasons pet owners are happier and healthier:

1. Companionship

Pets can make us laugh, lift our spirits, and relieve loneliness when we feel down. They won’t judge us, look down on us or reject us, and will always show us unconditional love and affection. So it’s no wonder many people prefer the company of their pets over other people!

Fun Fact: We’ve always known that dogs are a man’s best friend, and a 2003 Swiss study found we have a similar bond with cats. It was assessed that owning a cat can provide the same emotional fulfillment as a romantic partner!

Man kissing his ESA cat

2. Emotional Support

One of the best ways of relieving stress during a difficult time is talk therapy. When you don’t have close family or friends to confide in, pets are the perfect listening partner. During times of grief, in particular, having a dog to cuddle or a cat to stroke can be a great source of comfort and emotional support.

Fun Fact: Pets can play such a vital role in our mental health that it is possible to qualify for an ‘Emotional Support Animal’ (ESA). This gives you extra legal rights and protection against non-pet policies or extra pet fees.

Woman lying on the carpet playing with her ESA dog

3. Physically Healthier

Dogs are the perfect jogging buddies. They will keep up with your pace and the joy in their face will encourage you to keep going. Exercise is great for releasing feel good endorphins, losing weight, and improving your mental, as well as physical health.

Fun Fact: The American Heart Association assessed that dog owners are 54 percent more likely to get regular exercise and be in better shape.

Lady with her dog in the street

4. Less Stress

Ever wondered why stroking a cat is so relaxing?

The reason is because it releases oxytocin, known as the ‘love hormone’. This is the same hormone that is released when we cuddle and kiss other people and explains why we form such loving bonds with our pets.

Studies Show: Pets are great stress relievers for people with Alzheimer’s. They can form strong bonds with Alzheimer’s patients and help reduce the number of anxiety induced outbursts.

Woman kissing her Emotional Support Cat

5. Lower Risk  of Hearth Attack or Stroke

Along with getting us off the couch and going for walks, dogs have been found to help lower blood pressure. A study of 240 couples found that those with pets had lower blood pressure. Another study found that dog owners tended to recover better and live longer after a heart attack than non-dog owners.

Studies Show: Cats also help to look after heart health. A University of Minnesota study found that cat owners had a 40% lower risk of dying from a heart attack than non-cat owners.

couple walking in the park with their dog

6. Assisting the Development of Kids With Learning Disabilities

If you have children, you’ll know what a great influence having a pet can be on their development. This is particularly true among children with autism. A French study of 260 families with autistic children found that the children’s social skills improved after the age of 5 if they had a cat.

Looking after a dog can be an equally soothing experience. They can provide a vital source of companionship as autistic children find it easier to relate to a loving pet than their peers.

Guy with his dog in the countryside

7. All Around Happier

When you add up all the benefits, you can see why pet owners tend to be healthier and happier. Studies have found that dog owners have lower rates of depression from increased levels of the feel good hormones serotonin and dopamine.

Woman kissing her Emotional Support dog

Does Your Pet Relieve Your Stress?

Pets that help to relieve stress and mental disabilities are known as Emotional Support Animals (ESA). This entitles them to legal protection against non-pet housing policies, extra pet fees or having to pay for an additional ticket on flights. So getting your pet certified as an ESA can save you a lot of money as well as provide you with greater peace of mind.

For a pet to be certified as an ESA, a letter is needed from a qualified therapist. Thankfully, these ESA Letters can be quick and easy to get, as one pet owner discovered…

I Qualified for a CertaPet ESA Letter and Here's What Happened...

I had been terrified of flying since I was a kid. I was already on medication for my anxiety and didn’t like increasing the dosage to ‘knock out’ levels. With an upcoming trip to see my parents in Florida, I decided to see if there were any other options to help ease my anxiety.

I did some research and found out that my dog, Sammy, may qualify as an emotional support animal (ESA). This would allow me to take Sammy in the cabin to help relieve my anxiety and fear of flying.

My flight was just a few days away and I didn’t have time to visit a therapist in person. Thankfully, I found that I could complete the entire process on the CertaPet website in just a few hours!

I filled out a brief assessment and then my therapist contacted me telling me I had been approved!

Within two days I had my ESA Letter! This letter certified Sammy as an Emotional Support Animal, which meant I could take him in the cabin with me at no extra charge!

I followed their instructions and contacted the airline in advance letting them know I would be bringing Sammy, my new Emotional Support Animal. A few days later I boarded my flight to Florida with Sammy by my side to keep me calm and he kissed all of my worries away!

Couple at the beach with their dog

Internet's #1 ESA Letter service

If you have a dog, cat or any other type of pet that provides you with emotional support, you may qualify for an ESA Letter. Having an ESA Letter gives you both legal protection and peace of mindknowing you won’t face eviction for having a pet or be forced to put them in the cargo hold of the plane.

To simplify things and make your life easier, there is no longer any need to visit a therapist in person to get one. You can complete the entire process online on the CertaPet website and can have your ESA Letter sent to you within 48 hours (if approved).

Start saving money and living with peace of mind knowing your Emotional Support Animal will always be by your side. Join the more than 30,000 satisfied customers that chose CertaPet – the internet’s #1 ESA Letter service.

Customer Stories 

“I already had a prescription for my anxiety issues, but it would take weeks for me to get an appointment to get the required paperwork. The mental health professional called me within hours of submitting my application to CertaPet. She spent about an hour (way more than my own doctor!) discussing my history and issues with anxiety. I had a copy of my letter by the next day, and the original letter arrived in two days. For those who truly have a need, CertaPet is the place to go.”

J.A.L.

“To say that CertaPet met my expectations would be an understatement. Everyone at CertaPet bent over backwards to help us in getting our Emotional Support Animal letter. Use them, you won’t be sorry.”

D.K.

“I would highly recommend CertaPet. Every email I sent asking a question was answered the same day. I had my letter in 2 business days from start to finish. The psychologist that called me was very friendly and listened to what I had to say and was not judgmental of my medical need for my ESA letter and pet. I will be using this company for my renewal letter next year. Great Job CertaPet!!!”

D.H.

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