We have heard for years about how pets can enrich our lives. People have gone so far as to call their pets “children” (myself included). I have had my dog Bogey, for almost 10 years and he has been both the best and the worst thing in my life. The first two weeks I had him, he was a nightmare. Between the potty training and separation anxiety (which he still has), I was ready to throw in the towel. Thankfully, I came across a group of Basenji owners who met at the dog park each Sunday and they became my support group for many years 🙂 Now I can’t imagine life without him. He has even won over my husband who is not a dog person.
Here are just a few of the health benefits of pet ownership:
Allergies: Cuddling with your pet can help reduce allergies. According to AnimalPlanet.com, University of Wisconsin-Madison pediatrician James E. Gern has conducted a number of studies that demonstrate having a pet in the home can actually lower a child’s likelihood of developing related allergies by as much as 33 percent.
Socialization: Pets are a great conversation piece! Nowadays, it is not uncommon to find dog yoga, “yappy” hours and even social network pages for pets!
Exercise: A tired pet is a happy pet! Get your dog outside for walks, runs, hikes or a swim. Not only will your pet benefit, but your health will too. Cats need exercise and playtime as well; find games for your cats to play to keep their minds and bodies stimulated.
Unconditional Love: Let’s face it, us humans are not known for our ability to love someone unconditionally. Pets do! No matter how long you have been gone, the minute you open that door your pet is in your face ready to love on you! Perhaps we can learn something from them?
Lower Blood Pressure: Studies have shown that pet owners across the board have lower blood pressure than that of non-pet owners.
No pet? There are thousands of dogs and cats awaiting forever homes at shelters across the country! Visit your local shelter today!