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The Benefits of Having a Pet

Owning a pet is a wonderful experience. They are filled with unconditional love, fun, and memories to last a lifetime! But the benefits of owning a pet don’t stop there. There are many emotional and physical ways that having a pet can improve your quality of life.

Decreases Stress – Having your favourite furry friend by your side during hard times can significantly decrease your stress levels. They can provide an external focus on your attention. While you are focusing on taking care of your pet, other life stresses may take up less attention and worry.

Lowers Blood Pressure – Studies have shown that having a pet can potentially lower a person’s blood pressure. It is due to owners being less stressed when around their pets. Studies have also shown pet ownership to reduced cholesterol, decreased risk of strokes, and overall better cardiovascular health. Just by petting your cat, or cuddling with your dog may aid in lower blood pressure.

Eases Pain – Rather than reaching for a medication when dealing with chronic pain (like arthritis and migraines), reach for your pet. Spending close quality time with your pet can increase levels of serotonin and dopamine, two neurochemicals that play large roles in making you feel better.

Improves Mood – With all of the unconditional love you get for your pet, it is almost impossible to be anything but happy around them! Coming home to a pet that is happy to see, you can turn a bad day into a good one.

Improves Communication/Socialization – Having a pet like a dog or a cat helps you connect and bond with other groups of people with pets. Everyone enjoys talking about their beloved pet and sharing their favourite stories. You can also meet new people on a walk with your dog, at the park, or even at the vet or the pet store. It improves communication and socialization with others.

Prevents Allergies – Despite what many people might think, having children around pets at a young age, may prevent certain allergies (providing they don’t already have a known allergy to pets). It will not, however, reverse any current allergies as an adult. They can also help build stronger immune systems in children. Dogs, for example, spend a lot of time outdoors around dirt and germs. Being exposed to these additional germs, can, in fact, improve your immunity to mild colds and illnesses.

Helps with Fitness/Exercise – Dogs specifically can encourage exercise, as they require daily walks. Some dogs also enjoy going on hikes, playing in the park and going swimming. Being active with your pet can help you lead a healthier lifestyle.

If you have any questions, give us a call at 416.752.5114.

Written by: Amanda Thompson, ACA

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