SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — Thinking about getting a pet for the new year? By becoming a pet owner, you would not only help an animal’s life, but you could help your emotional and physical health as well. 

Pets help loneliness

Pets are our best friends, but more than that, they’re there for us when we need them most, and according to an Australian study, they reduce loneliness. The study found that after just three months, the feelings of isolation lowered, with those positive feelings persisting to the end of the study. 

A national study commissioned by HABRI and Mars Petcare also found that 85% of respondents agreed that owning a pet reduced loneliness and 76% agreed that human-pet interactions helped social isolation. 

Being a pet owner is good for your brain

Having a pet is more beneficial than previously thought. Not only will your furry friend cuddle up with you and enjoy your company, but owning a pet could delay memory loss and other cognitive declines, according to a study published by BMC Psychiatry.

Pets help you stay active

Not only can pets help your brain work, but they help your body as well. Having a pet increases the opportunities to exercise, be outside, and socialize. Taking regular walks or playing with pets will decrease blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and triglyceride levels. 

Having a pet may decrease you or your family’s allergies

Allergies is your immune system mistakenly flagging something harmless as dangerous. No one ever wants to be allergic to their furry friend, but there are ways to prevent allergies if exposed to pets in early life. Further research in a longitudinal study has also found that exposure may even help young adults. However, the effects of adult allergies are still unknown. 

Pets can help lower stress

There have been studies done over the years that show having an animal could ease your worries. Scientists at Washington State University found that just ten minutes could help alleviate stress in individuals. 

According to American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, nearly 6.5 million animals enter a shelter every year, and only 3.2 million are adopted. If you or a loved one is looking to adopt, consider finding a pet in a humane society near you.