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Everybody knows that owning a pet is great for your health. Going for walks is an excellent way to get your recommended amount of daily exercise. Plus, you can always swap walking for running if your dog is ready to do a couple of miles with you.

However, barring the impacts on your fitness, the benefits of pet ownership often go unstated or unrecognized. The reality is that the responsibility of taking care of an animal permeates into other areas of your life. So, even if you don’t know specifically how, it’s best for you to be prepared for whatever surprises pet ownership throws your way.

Below are four incredible examples that you may not have thought of before.

House Cleaning

Let’s face it – cleaning is the last thing on most people’s to-do list. Perhaps you only do it because the clutter is building up to the point where you can’t see past it anymore! Of course, messiness spreads pretty quickly, and your home can become unsanitary if you’re not careful. Owning a pet, even if it’s not a dog or cat, will force you to take cleaning more seriously. For example, if you own fish, you need more than a fish tank setup guide – you must swap the water out regularly so that it’s full of oxygen. The same principle applies to non-conventional animals as well as traditional pets.

Social Butterfly

You don’t have to live with butterflies to become one! The great thing about pet ownership is that it gives you commonalities with other people. Walking the pooch will inevitably mean you will come across other dog owners & animal lovers. Conversations soon spring to life. What’s fantastic about this is that you can use these conversations to hone your social skills.  As a result you’ll be more adept when man’s best friend isn’t around. You’ll find that making small talk at dinner parties is a breeze because of the time you spend every day chatting with others. If your small talk doesn’t go according to plan, there are 89 million dogs in the United States. Somebody at the party must be a dog or animal-lover!

Parenting

Owning a pet isn’t the same as being a parent. Still, animals teach you about the mistakes you might make with your own baby.  Mistakes you won’t make again if you decide to have children. Sure, some of the errors are solely animal-centric, yet others are transferable to humans. For instance, the way you stop bad behavior in a puppy, is similar to how you would attempt to stop toddlers from acting out. You’ll still have lots to learn, but you won’t go into parenthood as a total newbie.

Immune System

There has been a lot of research on this topic, but it seems that researchers in Sweden have found a link between pet ownership and a strong immune system in their owners. In short, studies show exposure to pets as a child increases that child’s ability to fight off allergies as an adult. The hope is that this will permeate into other illnesses and diseases too. Owning a pet isn’t only about making your lifestyle more active – it’s about fighting common ailments, such as hay fever, that can dramatically affect your life.

Have you experienced any of the above?

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