Pets and Pet Owners in Your Community: Staying Healthy and Connected | PetFirst
Pet Care & Health

Pets and Pet Owners in Your Community: Staying Healthy and Connected

by PetFirst Pet Insurance
1 year ago

In these uncertain times, when we are being asked to stay home and refrain from unnecessary social interaction, most people are feeling anxious and concerned about the future.

However, even though your regular routine is disrupted, you can still take care of your physical and mental well-being.  It is essential to continue to get outdoors and exercise, as well as maintain a social support network.

For example, if you have not considered getting to know other pet owners in your area, now might be the perfect time to do so (from a safe distance)! Additionally, there are many positive ways that animals can impact our physical and mental well being daily.

Animals Support Mental Health

The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) has reported the findings of several studies that indicate animals help alleviate stress, anxiety, and depression in their human counterparts.

One study focused on the role of pets in the social networks of people managing a long-term mental health issue.  Results showed that pets provide a sense of security and routine that provided emotional and social support. 

Humans Are Social Creatures

Humans thrive on interaction with others.  However, in times of stress, many people tend to withdraw, leaving them isolated and lonely.

According to the National Institute of Health, there is a connection between social isolation and loneliness and other health problems.  People who are not connected to others are at higher risk for cognitive decline, depression, and heart disease. 

An article in the Scientific American noted that people with pets were generally more likely than those without to get to know others in the neighborhood. People who walk their dogs are more likely to meet their neighbors and other pet owners. 

A 2015 study conducted by researchers at the University of Western Australia and Harvard University found that pets played a significant role in people getting to know other people and forming friendships. Forming friendships is the basis for developing a social network.  Often just meeting a few fellow animal lovers in the area can help people establish support systems, so they don’t feel alone.

Animals Can Help People Work Through Community Issues

Wherever people are divided, animals can be a powerful tool in bringing people together.

Bringing people together is not only healthy, but it is the only way to solve public safety issues, such as: 

  • Abandoned and free-roaming animals
  • Homeless animals
  • Spay and neuter clinics
  • School curricula that address issues of animal welfare
  • Proactive approaches to responsible pet ownership

Pets Teach Tolerance

In today’s busy society, where we are often rushing through our separate lives, pets can be a fantastic leveler.  

Often pet owners find themselves meeting and talking with other pet owners because the pets want to meet one another.  Pets don’t judge based on socio-economic status, appearance, or education, which is just one of the many reasons that we love them so dearly. 

Results of one survey even indicated that 42 percent of pet owners surveyed received practical or emotional support from people they had met through their pets.

Pets Teach Children Empathy and Compassion

Pets are wonderful companions and teachers to children. Owning a pet is a good way to help teach children responsibility from a young age. The good news is when the chores involve caring for a companion a child loves, he or she is less likely to see it as a negative activity.

Empathy, responsibility, and ability to connect are traits that will stay with a child and continue to develop into adulthood, creating a positive member of the broader community.

Here at PetFirst, we know accidents and illnesses happen to all pets, no matter what is going on in the world.  PetFirst is here for every canine and cat as pet insurance can help cover unexpected vet visits.

Pet insurance provides peace of mind that if your pet gets sick or injured, you don’t have to worry about the financial aspect of your pet’s care. Make sure your pet is covered with PetFirst Pet InsuranceWe offer coverage for both dogs and cats and offer Routine Care Coverage to fit every budget.

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