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Unexpected Surprises That Having a Pet Brings

Being a pet owner is undeniably fulfilling and rewarding. Nothing compares to the love, affection, and companionship of an animal. However, pets aren’t limited to simply being your best friend, they provide incredible health benefits in addition to keeping a constant smile on your face. These are unexpected surprises that pets provide for us:

Improve cardiovascular health

According to a study done by Harvard Medical School, pets were found to have the ability to lower blood pressure and cholesterol, thus reducing one’s risk of developing heart disease, hypertension, or any other life-threatening condition. Additionally, owning a pet encourages you to exercise, which is one of the key factors in combating diabetes. For example, dogs require constant exercise and sunshine; they can’t stay cooped up indoors or in a backyard. Otherwise, they become depressed and stressed – just like a human being! Since pets depend on their owners for the well-being, an owner is challenged to follow a routine each day that satisfies a pet’s needs as well as their own.

Detect and sense cancer and pregnancy

One of the most incredible surprises that having a pet brings is their ability to detect cancer and sense pregnancy. Dogs and cats specifically have scent receptors that are 100,000 times stronger than a human’s, making them more sensitive to detecting external elements. There have been stories of dogs who began oddly sniffing their owners which led to the owner’s discovery of early stages cancerous cells in their body. In regards to pregnancy, an animal’s senses are hyperaware of the chemistry changes that undergo in a woman’s body that indicate a baby is on the way.

Alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety

Pets provide psychological benefits and support in personal struggles that are healing and positive to those treating depression and anxiety. In fact, some people turn to pet ownership to treat current depression and anxiety along with medication and therapy. When one has depression, owning a pet gives them a sense of responsibility and purpose. Because an individual directs their energy into taking care of a pet, the action reinforces the constant feeling of reward, which is in the form of keeping a pet alive and the animal’s genuine dependence on being successfully taken care of by you all over again. With anxiety, on the other hand, a pet becomes an anchor when panic and anxiety attacks begin to overwhelm you. Since they are acutely aware of the emotions and behaviors of humans, pets can ease the symptoms of anxiety and redirect your focus onto them. Most of the time, the simple comfort of an animal who loves and does not judge you is enough to subside the inherent feelings of loneliness and isolation that come with depression and the overwhelming moments of anxiety.

Diminish stress

Nothing feels better than coming home to an animal that is nothing but happy to see you. Petting an animal kickstarts the hormone production of endorphins and dopamine that come with a comforting sense of touch, which also simultaneously decreases levels of cortisol and adrenaline. Our reactions in stressful situations also become less explosive when in the presence of an animal. This is due to the fact that animals provide a sense of support and do not believe we lack value even in our most negative moments. Last but not least, animals make us laugh when they do silly things, which also reduces our physical tension and strengthens the immune system.

No matter the kind of animal you have welcomed into your family, you are looking forward to a real treat. Pets are full of unconditional love and irreplaceable companionship that not only makes a lasting impact on our health, but our life.

Things to know about sharing a home with other students

Sharing a home with other students can be fun, but it is also filled with potential conflict

Photo by CC user artinstituteofportland on Flickr

So, you have just left home for the first time, and you are about to spend your first semester at your chosen college or university. Unless you are staying in the dorms on campus, you will soon be sharing a home with other students.

Here’s what you need to know to keep things running smoothly, avoid animosity, and a build a sense of community within your new home away from home.

The kitchen

Of all the areas in the house, it is the kitchen where there is the greatest potential for conflict. The creation of dishes is the biggest issue, as it only takes the actions of one laggard to spawn resentment. Left unaddressed, this situation can lead to the refusal of others to keep up the cleanliness of this common space.

Another concern is food storage security. According to a recent survey commissioned by Data Label in the United Kingdom, anywhere between 14% and 37% of students had reported their food or leftovers had gone missing from communal fridges and food storage spaces. This study was also featured on  We Are Homes for Students.

By carefully vetting roommates before allowing them to rent in the house, and then taking a proactive approach if food goes missing, these incidents can be avoided or quickly resolved.

Divvying up chores

If you hope to have a house that is at least respectably clean, it is imperative that you establish a schedule for chores at the start of the semester.

If everyone knows who is supposed to clean the kitchen, vacuum the floors, take out the trash/recyclables, and perform other tasks on given weeks, you will have an environment that feels more like a home rather than a place to sleep.

Paying the bills

The lights, water and internet won’t keep themselves on. In order to keep all these services running smoothly, the bills will need to be paid on time. Make sure that all bills are posted on the fridge as soon as they are received, with a complete breakdown of what is owed by everybody.

Though it may be uncomfortable to chase after your fellow housemates for money, it is vital that no one falls behind in their bills without a valid excuse, as it will give others a reason to be tardy on their payments as well.

Respecting each others needs

It can be difficult to share space with other human beings, but this task is made all the more tricky when the people involved are very young adults. Everyone must make an effort to respect each others need for privacy and quiet, especially during the week and at exam time.

On the other hand, if it’s the weekend, or early on in the semester, lighten up a little and respect your other housemates need to unwind, blow off steam, and have fun. So long as everyone has an understanding of the magnitude of a planned social gathering, and when they will begin and end, there should be no issue with having friends over every once in awhile.

We Are Homes for Students?