Do Pet Owners Really Live Longer? | The Pet Encyclopedia

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Owning a pet can be one of the most fun, rewarding and satisfying things you ever do in your life. They can give you a sense of companionship, friendship, responsibility and unconditional love that even human relationships can't match. If a pet is treated well, they'll trust you to be there, to take care of them and, in return, they'll love you and take care of you in their own ways. While pet owners live fuller lives, does that mean you'll really live longer if you own a pet?

Maybe so!

Factors That Contribute

It's hard to describe the feeling you get when a pet greets you at the door when you come home from work, or the unrequited joy they can meet you with after an extended absence such as a trip or vacation. That kind of positive emotion truly supports you if you own a pet. That kind of support provides humans with many positive benefits.

- Having a pet to rely on you for food, health care, warmth, etc. gives you a responsibility you can't dodge. Its harder to be depressed when you have solid responsibilities that return your efforts whole-heartedly. Also, only a pet can give an owner the kind of love and trust they do. This kind of devotion also reduces depression.

- Pets actually make our body go through chemical changes because of their love, care, affection and everything else that makes a pet a pet. Cortisol production, a chemical related to stress, is reduced and serotonin production, a chemical connected to our well-being, is increased.

- Because pets help us deal with stress better, studies show that people who own cats have lower chances of stroke or heart attack (Minnesota Stroke Institute) and psychologists find that dog owners have lowered blood pressure and cholesterol rates (Bureau of Veterans Affairs).

- Pet owners, particularly dog owners are usually more physically fit because they'll take the dog on walks, play with them and include them in other activities which helps keep you healthier. Some owners even make their pets become "exercise buddies" where the pet actually takes an active role in the exercise process.

- Kids who grow up with pets or even farm animals generally have fewer allergies and a stronger immune system which keeps you healthier throughout your life. Also, cats seem to have a positive impact on infants who may be susceptible to asthma, often preventing it from developing. That can have a major impact on how long they live.

- Some pets can be so attuned to their owners, they can warn if something is about to happen such as a dangerous drop in blood sugar for diabetes patients or seizures in epilepsy patients. They can alert their owners before something happens so they can take preventative measures beforehand.


Having a pet can be a truly amazing experience that rewards the pet with love, affection, regular meals, vet care and a great environment. to live in. The human owners, however can be rewarded with something much more special: a longer, healthier, happier life.

A Few Dog Breeds

Photo of plecostomus


Type: Fish
Size: 4 to 24
Activity Level:
Temperment: Reasonably calm although can show aggression

Photo of persian


Type: Cat
Size: Medium
Activity Level: Medium
Coat: Long, Full
Temperment: Reserved

Photo of fancy-goldfish

Fancy Goldfish

Type: Fish
Size: 2 to 8
Activity Level:
Temperment: Gentle and Playful