10 Reasons Troops Should Have Pets

These reasons troops should have pets not only prove that dogs, cats, and hamsters are cute furry friends, but family members who will relieve stress, anxiety, and even PTSD.

10 Reasons Troops Should Have Pets

Nothing quite makes a homecoming YouTube video tear-worthy like a dog running into the arms of his owner. These are the top ten reasons troops should have pets, from a huge help with transitions, to filling a void of loved ones, pets provide a huge helping hand (or paw) in the daily struggles of a military man or woman.

Dogs are called man's best friend for a reason, and these reasons why you should consider getting a companion pet might just convince you to welcome a new family member home.

Pets help with transitioning.

First on our reasons troops should have pets, is that pets are a great aid in any transition in life, let alone the ones that military men and women go through. This can be a transition from service to civilian life, many veterans feel lost without the structure that they had in the service.

Your pet will allow you to transition more seamlessly, and will make your home feel more like your home, even if you've been away for a long time. This is especially true for those who have suffered a traumatic event or an injury.

Walking a dog provides a routine and discipline that many military men and women require to feel "normal." Caring for a pet will also provide them with structure and purpose.

Playing with your pets is some of the best stress relief.

Next on our list of the best reasons troops should have pets, is that playing with your pet provides incredible stress relief. Something as simple as taking your dog to the backyard to throw around a ball will reduce your stress levels, it's proven!

Though we already know that pets can make us happy, who knew that it is scientifically proven that the hormone oxytocin is released in your brain, which will lower the production of cortisol, the stress-inducing hormone, all simply caused by playing with your furry friends.

There's always a reason to come home.

Sometimes, troops returning home feel as if they have no reason to. However, if troops have a dog at home, there is automatically one great reason to come home.

Much like taking care of a dog gives many people a great purpose in life, having a pet while you are deployed provides a great reason to look forward to coming home each time.

Pets help with PTSD.

With over 408,000 veterans seeking treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder in 2010, the impacts of PTSD are incredibly prominent in today's society.

As one of the best reasons troops should have pets, they can help with this. Though there is no "cure" for this disorder, pets can help veterans cope with the symptoms caused by PTSD such as nightmares, panic attacks, self-isolation, insomnia, and difficulty relating to others.

These symptoms can be so severe that veterans are unable to leave the house. This is where a psychiatric service animal would work well, specifically therapy dogs. They would help a veteran to participate in daily activities with ease.

They can fill a void of a lost loved one.

Losing a loved one is never easy. And there is never anything that will fill the hole in your life that is left by them.

However, you can try. And one of the best ways to try is to fill your life with something that will provide you with unconditional love such as a cat or dog. Providing a sense of security, your pet will fill your life with a new type of love, even after tragedy.

This can also fill the void for someone who is left at home while their loved ones are deployed. Pets help ward off loneliness, and give their owner a sense of purpose and responsibility that may be lost in the absence of their loved one.

They can ease the impact of depression and anxiety.

Many people can attest that their pet has not only fallen into a friendship category, but can also take on the role of a therapist. Just a bit furrier than your typical psychologist, and a bit less talkative, cats and dogs are certainly assistance in beating depression and anxiety. This is one of the best reasons troops should have pets, this is science-backed.

Pet therapy is real, and will instantly calm its patients. In fact, many chemotherapy victims are provided with dogs to pet while they are undergoing their intense therapies.

Depression and anxiety are often caused by post-traumatic stress disorder, as well as by homesickness. A dog can be a simple step in the right direction to feeling better, and ridding yourself of anxieties and depressive episodes.

They are a built-in best friend.

Like we touched on earlier, owning a pet can provide a solution to loneliness.

Especially to those who are living alone, or are simply lonely in their life, everyone should consider adopting a new family member to their home. Loneliness can impact you more than you think, and it can even lead to lethal conditions later in life. So what better reason to fill your life with a new companion?

Dogs are called man's best friend for a reason, and adding a dog to your family will certainly fill it with life.

They can even lower your blood pressure.

Really anyone can benefit from lowering your blood pressure, even if it's not a concern you've ever had before. And as one of the best reasons troops should have pets, lowering blood pressure might seem random, but it's always a plus when considering your pros and cons.

Done in a study from the American Heart Association, pet owners were found to have lowered their blood pressure brought on by mental stress due to the support given by their animals.

They will help you quit bad habits.

Many men and women grow a very bad habit of smoking cigarettes or using chewing tobacco while they are deployed. As a habit that we are sure they are going to want to squash, having a pet can help you with that!

According to a study done by BMJ Journals, 28 percent of smokers and pet owners reported that the effects of their secondhand smoke on their pets motivated them to quit smoking together.

To complete our list of the best reasons troops should have pets, what's better than a homecoming that involved a happy pup?

These videos would bring a tear to anyone's eyes, and makes the reality of coming home to a home filled with such love unmatchable. Plus, they are unaware of it, but they will soon become a very helpful tool to those veterans while coping with PTSD. Who missed who more?

fact or fiction
Read next: A Comedy of Errors in the British Army UOTC, Part 5
Adrian Scott

Horror-movie fan and wanna-be chef looking to travel the world.

See all posts by Adrian Scott