There are so many benefits to having a pet.
And now, psychologists say that there are emotional benefits to having a pet. So much so, that the benefits can be equal to human friendships.
217 people answered a questionnaire asking about self-esteem, loneliness, illness, depression, and activity level. Of those questionnaires, 56 dog owners had identical answers in part one in which their pets "complemented rather than competed" with human friends. These owners had the greatest emotional returns.
The study says:
"In fact … we repeatedly observed evidence that people who enjoyed greater benefits from their pets also were closer to other important people in their lives and received more support from them, not less."
Pet owners also experienced greater physical fitness and exercise and this is because researchers say:
"Belongingness is considered a central need for people. If pets are 'psychologically close' to their owner, they may provide well-being benefits for the owner just like any other person."
If this totally inspired you to get a pet, go to your local shelter and adopt and reap all the benefits of loving a pet!
[Image via WENN / Grace Chon / Shine Pet Photos.]