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konqueror321 t1_j248na9 wrote

I would assume that people who have better cognitive abilities would be more likely to successfully get, care for, feed, and provide vet care for a pet than a person who is in some stage of cognitive decline, ie pet ownership is a marker of better cognition and not a cause of it.


dont_tase_me_bro_ t1_j24a98f wrote

That's right, I already can't take care of myself at 38, so I don't know why I would add a pet to the problem. In 10 years I might be a hoarder living in his own feces so why would I add those of a dog?


thruster_fuel69 t1_j24p8mm wrote

What's funny to me is, replace pet with unexpected child, and you've got a new moral policy for parenthood.


smurficus103 t1_j26flqm wrote

This is also true. After struggling financially with one child for so long, we could not opt to have more


Baardhooft t1_j2707zi wrote

It’s a weird one, because I can’t take care of myself either but you bet your ass I did everything for my cats and dogs. Having someone to take care of and look forward to is so amazing. I haven’t owned a pet in years now and those have been my hardest years when it comes to dealing with struggles. Animals are amazing at providing comfort.


rbz90 t1_j26lfv5 wrote

Can you really not take care of yourself?


dont_tase_me_bro_ t1_j2di8rz wrote

I'm still alive and relatively healthy, so I can to a large extent, but like for many people very simple daily life stuff can be too much sometimes.


SophiaofPrussia t1_j270at0 wrote

I think it’s more likely that it goes both ways. Pets require you to do things that are good for you that you otherwise might not do. If you’re depressed or achy or feeling down and tempted to stay in bed all day that’s just not going to happen when you have a hungry demanding cat or a dog who needs to go out. Walks, even short walks, are good for you. I’ve taken my dog on so many walks I did not at all want to go on because it was chilly or rainy or dark or I was tired or whatever. Sometimes I wish I had started tracking how many steps I’ve taken with my dog to see how many miles of walking I do with him that I otherwise wouldn’t have done. I bet it would be a lot more than I realize. Maybe I’ll track that in 2023 just for fun!


YourUncleBuck t1_j276du1 wrote

They also keep you from being lonely, which is never good for your mental health either.

>Education has been found to reduce the likelihood of developing dementia and a number of other factors have been found to have the same effect. These factors include physical inactivity, depression, social isolation, cardiovascular disease, hypertension and chronic stress.

>Pet ownership is one aspect of lifestyle that is known to influence many health and disease outcomes via emotional support and stress buffering.


SerialStateLineXer t1_j299uz0 wrote

Reasoning about cause and effect when it comes to this kind of thing is really hard, and frankly, a lot of people in epidemiology and especially journalists just aren't that good at it. Researchers get fooled by reverse causation and confounders all the time, and it's very easy for fallacious conclusions and spurious findings to get laundered into "fact" through repeated citation. This is especially likely to happen with feel-good stuff like "pets prevent Alzheimer's" or "wine prevents heart disease."

Maybe dog ownership improves health by promoting exercise, but there's very unlikely to be any real direct, clinically important biological effect of warm fuzzy feelings or reduced loneliness or whatever.


pennyfanclub t1_j27gb8c wrote

This is one of the main reasons I’d like to get a dog with my partner in the next couple years. It’s very hard for me to motivate myself to take regular walks/leave my house/be in the sun outdoors/touch grass. Having a creature who will be guaranteed to poop in my house if I don’t take him outside and around the block is amazing motivation. I’m currently a pet sitter on the side and damn do I feel better mentally and physically when I watch dogs who need many walks throughout the day.


LucyRiversinker t1_j27mz0d wrote

I can attest to that. You get an hour of exercise daily. Just make sure to teach your dog to poop/pee early in the walk and then walk at a good pace.


Shovi t1_j289zdv wrote

Google fit is a fun little app to have. I sometimes go out of my way to achieve the daily goals if im out and about and have the time.


riricide t1_j26jc5f wrote

You would think so, but watch any episode of hoarders and you'll see almost all of them are pet owners. My guess is they don't feel accepted or welcome by people and turn to pets instead.


pumaofshadow t1_j27pfjd wrote

Also that many of them simply don't consider the pets health or wellbeing.


asdaaaaaaaa t1_j259re7 wrote

Also being happy in general usually leads to better things, including health. I don't know many people who decide to get pets despite hating animals/pets, I'd imagine most people buy pets for comfort/company, or happiness.


DrEvil007 t1_j27m7iw wrote

One of the reasons why I've yet to fulfill my childhood dream of having a dog is that during my worst depressive years, there were moments where I couldn't even care for myself. Bringing another life form into my life, I don't know if that would have improved my life at the time or make it worse, as in now I have responsibility to take care of this pet. Can I do it? I don't think I could have.