Coursework: Health Benefits of Having a Pet as a Child

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Statistics, Health Effects, and Advantages of Pets

Pets play a very important role in human beings’ lives. They are domesticated animals for a variety of reasons. Pet ownership statistics has been changing over time.

Nowadays, the number of pet owners is continually increasing and more pets are bred with desirable characteristics that meet the demands of the pet market. According to pet ownership statistics published by Insurance Information Institute, 68 percent of all the households in the United States of America now own a pet.

The research that led to this finding is called the National Pet Owners Survey conducted by American Pet Products Association in the year 2017. A similar research was first carried out in the year 1988 and had indicated that 56 percent of the total United States households owned pets (Insurance Information Institute, 2017). In a span of about thirty years, the pet ownership statistics showed that there has been an increase in the number of households owning pets by about 12 percent. People have always loved pets, and this trend is rising with the relative increase in households.

There are many benefits of having a pet. They are very great friends to their human owners. Pets show unconditional love to their masters and thus provide them with emotional boost. Pets reduce stress, depression, anxiety and lower the risks of stroke and heart attack in their owners. According to a study conducted in the year 2002 at the State University of New York at Buffalo, people experienced less stress when conducting stressful tasks with their pets around them than when their spouses, family or close friends were nearby (Gekas, 2011).

As a result of the numerous benefits of having a pet, many families have acquired the family pet. The family pet serves the needs of the whole family and most families prefer good small pets that can be easily handled and fed without strain. Some of the good small family pets include cats, dogs, small reptiles like snakes, and birds.

Health Benefits of Owning a Dog

According to the National Pet Owners Survey of 2017, the most owned pet is dog as more than 60.2 million dogs are owned by the United States households only (Insurance Information Institute, 2017). In most of these households, kids are found to spend most of their time with the dog pets.

However, there are some breeds of dogs that are good with kids while others are not. Dogs that are good with kids include the Golden retriever, the Labrador retriever, the Poodle, the Vizsla, the Irish setter, the Bulldog, the Collie, the Beagle, the Newfoundland and the Bull terrier. These dogs possess characteristics that make them good for kids.

They have infinite patience, natural ability to protect children when needed, and others can play endlessly with kids (PETMD, 2017). As a result, having sucg a dog gives kids numerous benefits. These advantages include learning key life skills of being responsible and cooperative. The dogs also show the kids their unconditional love which is important especially in busy families where parents are absent most of the time. However, some questions like “Can humans get worms from dogs?” remain paramount. Dogs that are infected with roundworms may easily infect their owners if they ingest the dog’s fecal matter knowingly or unknowingly.

Health Benefits of Owning a Cat

Cats are the second most owned pets after dogs according to the National Pet Owners Survey of 2017, with 47.1 million cats kept in the United States households (Insurance Information Institute, 2017). There are many benefits of owning a cat like increased immunity from the exposure to the cat fur and better resistance to allergens, decreased risk of heart attacks due to the emotional boost caused by cat pets.

Low blood pressure in cat pet owners is a result of the calming effect cats have and reduced anxiety and stress are explained by the soothing nature of cats (Health Fitness Revolution, 2015). The questions that many cat pet owners ask themselves is “Can humans get worms from cats?” and “Can you catch a cold from a cat?” According to Jessica Gomez, a vet technician, humans can get worms from the infected cats.

Human beings can contract round worms and hookworms from cats when they ingest eggs of the worms from the cat’s fecal matter. Human beings cannot, however, catch a cold from a cat. This is because the cold causative agents for humans and cats are quite different. Cold causative agent in humans is the bacteria called Chlamydia trachomatis while the cold causative agent in cats is called Chlamydia psittaci. The two cause cold to their respective hosts only (2017).

Best Pet for Kids

The best pets for kids should possess certain characteristics. To be more precise, they should be calm, courageous, friendly, loving, lovable, happy, easygoing, patient, and companionable. They should also have an agreeable temperament, small excitable size and a lot of energy that cannot drain that of the kid. Among the many breeds of dogs, there are breeds that suit exactly kids’ needs. The good dog breeds for kids include the Beagle, Golden retriever, Collie, Poodle, Irish setter, Labrador retriever, Newfoundland, Bull Terrie and the Vizsla.

Similarly. Good cat breeds for kids must meet the above characteristics, and they include the Abyssinian, Maine coon, Burmese, Ragdoll, Manx, and the Persian. For the reptile enthusiast, the best pets include the anole - a colorful neck lizard with a lifespan longer than 5 years, the bearded dragon lizard - a gentle lizard that enjoys being picked up, the Leopard gecko – a calm and easy to handle lizard, and some snakes that can be treated to be wonderfully docile and manageable with a lifespan of up to 35 years. The tortoise, turtle, and the water dragon are other reptiles that can be easily reared as pets.


Gekas, A. (2011). 10 health benefits of owning a pet. Woman’s Day. Retrieved on December 30, 2017 from [][2]

Gomez, J. (2017). Can humans get worms from cats? Love to Know. Retrieved on December 30, 2017 from [][3]

Health Fitness Revolution. (2015). Top 10 health benefits of owning a cat. Retrieved on December 30, 2017 from [][4]

Insurance Information Institute. (2017). Facts + statistics: Pet statistics. Retrieved on December 30, 2017 from [][5]

PETMD. (2017). The 10 best dogs for kids and families. Retrieved on December 30, 2017 from [][6]