It's not just common sense, it's science.
The foundation of any healthy relationship is empathy and kindness. Pets undoubtedly enhance these qualities and bring out the best in us. Their hilarious antics and warm cuddles melt our hearts and remind us that to feel love is to give love first, and that’s what building a lasting relationship is all about.
Here are just a few reasons why couples with pets are happier:
1. Pets require teamwork.
From walking your pooch to changing your kitty’s litterbox, couples must work as a team to care for their fur babies. Learning to partner together to care for your pet is a foundation for partnering in other ways, from managing household chores and expenses.
2. Couples with pets are calmer and happier.
This seems like common sense, but there is actually a science behind this. A WebMD study of 240 married couples found that those with pets had lower resting heart rates and blood pressure than those without pets. They also remained more calm during periods of stress. Studies have also shown that interacting with pets releases serotonin, which makes us happier, and decreases cortisol which helps ease stress. Pets really are little furballs of joy.
3. Pets remind us to laugh.
I am perfectly okay with the fact that I speak in high-pitched baby talk to my cat. I also profess my love to him through made-up songs that don’t rhyme. My husband will literally roll around on the floor with our cat, and play hide and seek with him. There’s nothing like embracing your inner big kid by getting silly with your pets. They remind us to a laugh every day and not to take ourselves too seriously.
4. Your shared love for your fur baby strengthens your bond.
Let’s start by recognising that pets can’t keep bad relationships together any more than children can. But assuming you and your partner are in a healthy relationship, having a shared source of love and companionship brings you closer together. Whether you’re sharing a laugh over your cat accidentally getting stuck in paper bag, or watching your Corgi roll around on its back on a patch of green grass, pets make our hearts well up with love with their simple innocence.
5. Pets bring out our nurturing side.
It can be easy to overlook our own needs, or even those of our partner. But our pets need us – not just for basics like food and water – but for play, for love, for companionship, and for new adventures. They remind us to look outside of ourselves and to put another living being’s needs before ours.
They may not understand why we have to go to work and leave them all day or why we may be too tired to play with them. Still, our pets adore us unconditionally. Being so loved and needed makes us want to be better people, for them and for us, which in turn makes us better for our partners.
WebMD, 27 Ways Pets Can Improve Your Health
The Relationship Playbook