Pets are used in classrooms, therapy sessions, nursing homes, and more.  Many programs and organizations use pets to help improve well-being and behavior in kids and adults, and for good reason!  The study of pets shows so many benefits, and America’s Family Pet Expo wants to fill you in on the good news!

Pets Improve Health:

Numerous studies have shown that pet owners often have lower cholesterol, blood pressure, and triglyceride levels, and exercise more than people who don’t own pets. Other studies show that pets can increase one’s lifespan, especially in people with illnesses.  For example, having a pet may decrease heart attack mortality by 3%.  Studies also show that children who grow up with pets are better equipped to fight off infection and less likely to develop common allergies.  When experts compared the school attendance records of kids with pets and kids without pets, kids with pets averaged more days at school per year!

Pets Improve Mental Well-Being:

Pets improve the mental-well being of pet owners by lowering stress levels, increasing cognitive thought, and helping cope with life changes.  The research proving this is amazing. One study done by Dr. Karen Allen observed 48 stockbrokers with hypertension.  Half of the stockbrokers adopted a dog or cat, and when the study concluded, the other half without a pet were twice as stressed.  Another study surveyed families, and 70% reported an increase in family happiness and fun after getting a pet.  Other studies show that kids who have aquariums typically score higher on SATs.  Need further evidence?  Take a look at the role of animals in therapy sessions. Companion pets help children adjust better to serious illness or death in the family.

Pets Teach Responsibility and Build Self-Esteem:

Owning a pet takes time, effort, and care.  Children who grow up with pets learn responsibility and nurturing skills.  Pets also help both children and adults build self-esteem.  Research indicates that kids who have family pets have higher self-esteem.  One study from the University of Kansas followed children ages seven to 14 and found that if they lived with a pet, their self-esteem and competence increased. According to, Shari Young Kuchenbecker, Ph.D., research psychologist at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, says, “The child who cares for a pet knows that what he does matters, and so he’ll want to do more of it. The more successfully he feeds, walks, or emotionally bonds with the pet, the more confident he’ll feel.”

This information is just a small glimpse of the benefits of having a pet.  Feel free to click on the links for further information on the benefits of pets. If you do not have a pet and are considering getting one, remember that a pet comes with a lot of responsibility. Be informed before making your purchase so you and your pet will be happy and healthy!