by Penny M. Hagerman
In more than 70 percent of American households, pets bring their owners unconditional love and companionship. But they also bring health benefits, too.
Whether they prefer cats, dogs, or have a house full of both, research shows that pet owners also enjoy increased quality of life, greater emotional well being and more improved health than those who live without pets. Some experts even claim pets help extend lives!
But there’s something else about Fido or Tabby you may not know: by helping you stay healthy and strong, he can also help lower your health and life insurance rates—saving you money on insurance premiums.
Pets: Making Lives Better
What is it about pets that enamor us? Is it those cute, floppy ears or the way they show us affection by rubbing against our legs or climbing into our laps? Or maybe it’s the way they pick up on our emotions, gluing themselves to our sides when we’re upset, nervous or ill?
Indeed, pets seem to have a sixth sense about their owners’ emotional and physical state, as witnessed by dogs trained to alert epileptics about oncoming seizures or those that work with the disabled to help them perform daily life activities.
But for the rest of us, how do pets actually improve our lives and help us stay healthy?
A Dozen Reasons to Own a Pet
According to reliable sources like the Humane Society of the United States and the North American Pet Health Insurance Association, there are at least a dozen ways pets improve the lives of everyday people like you and me.
If you’re considering getting a pet—or adding another one to your household—consider the following ways animals can improve the entire family’s health and life. Factors like these may help win you over, as well as save you some money on insurance bills!
- Lowered Risk of Heart Disease
- Lowered Risk of Hypertension
- Slower Heart Rate
- Reduced Frequency of Doctor Visits
- Increased Capacity of Dealing with Stress/Traumatic Events
- Faster Rehabilitation Following Trauma
- Increased Survival Rates from Heart Attacks
- Relief of Depression/Dementia in Seniors
- Lowered Risk of Allergens in Children
- Increased Chance of Being Physically Active
- Improved Quality of Life
- Lowered Risk of Seizure in Epileptics
Pets and Insurance Rates
So how does owning a pet equate to lower health and life insurance rates?
Well, the healthier you are, the longer you’re likely to live. And since pets help reduce the likelihood of many physical ailments and improve mental health along the way, those who own them are less likely to need medical or mental health services. The result? A longer, healthier life for you; less risk for your insurer—and lower insurance rates.
If you’re not currently a pet owner, there’s no better time than the present to bring home that cuddly little puppy, kitten or abandoned shelter animal. With 12 good reasons for doing so, you could be living a happier, healthier, longer life soon—and saving money on insurance.