They’re fuzzy and cute. But did you know that you could also benefit just by having them around?
I’m talking about your pets, of course. Whether you have a dog, a cat, or even a fish–there are some definite benefits to freelancing with pets.
Fortunately, as freelancers, we are able to have our pets with us when we work. In fact, I was startled to see that many of the comments on a recent FreelanceM.ag post were about freelancers and their pets. Once I realized how beneficial pets really are, though, the comments made a lot of sense.
If you love freelancing and you love pets, you’ll relate to this post.
Why Pets Are Good For You
Personally, I love having my dog around when I work. Most of the time, she’s a great work companion and apparently having her around is good for me too.
Here are nine of the health benefits of owning a pet:
- Less lonely. One of the biggest challenges freelancers face is loneliness. Having a pet with you when you freelance can help you overcome those feelings of isolation. A pet is always willing to listen, won’t criticize or judge you, and your secrets are safe when you share them with your pet.
- Safer. Many pets keep you safer. Most people know that a dog will bark and alert you to the presence of strangers, but there are other safety benefits to pets as well. A friend who lives alone has this recorded on her answering machine, “Joe, Chuck, and I cannot come to phone, please leave a message.” Friends and family understand that Joe and Chuck are her cats, but a stranger who heard the message wouldn’t be able to tell that she lived alone.
- More exercise. Many pets require you to take them out, which provides you with more exercise. In fact, time spent walking your dog or playing with your cat can get you out of doors and moving. Any time that happens, it’s a good thing. Most freelancers are entirely too sedentary.
- Better physical health. In addition to providing exercise, interacting with pet can have other health benefits. Studies have shown that having a pet can reduce blood pressure, lower the risk of cardiovascular disease, lower cholesterol, and even help the body to fight allergies.
- Calmer. Having a pet keeps you calmer. There are actually chemicals that are released in your brain when you pet an animal that make you calm and can even improve your mood. Pet owners feel less stressed too. Plus, a freelancer’s flexible schedule makes freelancing and pet ownership the ideal combination.
- More social opportunities. A pet can give you a distinct social advantage too. As a pet owner, you are likely to get out of the house more to exercise your pet and to get supplies for it. People are more likely to greet someone who has a pet with them and of course, the pet provides an instant topic of conversation.
- Better work/life balance. As a freelancer, it’s easy to lose yourself in your work. Many freelancers get so wrapped up in their work that they lose track of time. They may skip a meal or work long past quitting time (wearing themselves out). A pet can keep such freelancers grounded. People who would otherwise not take healthy breaks are willing to stop and take care of the needs of a pet.
- Happier. A recent study from the American Psychological Association shows that pet owners are happier than those without pets. Of course, with all of the previous benefits that can be traced to pet ownership, the findings should come as no surprise. The study just formalizes something we pet owners have known all along.
- Family friendly. If you’re a freelancer with a family, pets can help you too. First of all, many pets get along well with children. And while a pet is no substitute for a responsible adult babysitter, a pet can keep an older child entertained and occupied while you finish your freelancing projects.
With all the good things that come from pet ownership, you may wonder why more companies don’t allow pets in the workplace.
Pets at Work
The fact is, that there is a growing trend towards allowing pets in the workplace. This news article from Raygan Swan on USA Today explains why some employers are starting to allow pets.
However, taking a pet to work is still far from the norm.
This is one area where we freelancers are definitely ahead of the trend. And being able to be with your pet during work hours is definitely a freelancing perk.
Do you work with a pet? Share a little bit about how your pet helps you in comments below.
Image by dougwoods