But is their lower place on the totem pole deserved?
Or do fish have powers to make us happier and healthier, just like Kitty and Rover?
Being an avid fishkeeper he dove into the data to find out if there’s any science behind our pre-existing beliefs that his pet fish make our lives happier and healthier. Well, according to Matt, there are loads of benefits to keeping pet fish.
1. PET FISH CAN REDUCE STRESS
Observing fish in an aquarium, or simply being in the same room as they have been shown to reduce stress to a significant degree.
From self-reported stress relief (51% of pet owners in the 2017-18 APPA Pet Owners Survey) to anecdotal observations of a doctor to an actual scientific study in 2015, it’s been proven time and again that keeping fish and being around them reduces stress.
The 2015 study showed improvements in stress reduction in both a partially and fully stocked aquarium.
Dr. Allan Schwartz suggests that tropical fish and aquariums can relieve stress due to their nature-mimicking qualities.
However you get your fish fix, you can rest assured you’ll be less stressed!
2. FISH CAN CALM YOU AND REDUCE ANXIETY
This goes hand in hand with reducing stress, but a reduction in stress does not automatically mean an increase in calm, right?
Studies found that fish can reduce anxiety and help to calm you, bringing further evidence to the fact that fishes are good for your mental well being.
This study outlines previous work done that shows that the presence of an aquarium reduced anxiety in patients waiting to get dental work done.
And while this treatment sounds scary to the casual observer, Electroconvulsive Therapy patients experienced a decrease in anxiety in the presence of an aquarium.
3. FISH REDUCE BLOOD PRESSURE
Oh, you thought fish were only good for mental health?
Fish have been shown to be heart-friendly, too.
In this study, observing fish helped to reduce blood pressure in a statistically significant way.
The study reports: “Watching the exhibit, irrespective of condition, generally decreased blood pressure…”