Considering adopting a pet? In addition to being awesomely adorable, your new dog or cat comes with some health perks for you! Check out these five health benefits of pets.

  1. Pets are natural mood boosters. Research has shown that spending time with animals decreases the stress hormone cortisol, while also increasing mood-boosting chemical serotonin. Less stress means lower blood pressure, another perk of pet ownership. The next time you’re feeling blue, reach for Ginger or Wookie to stimulate happy-making hormones; petting animals is also a recognized treatment for depression.
  2. Your pet keeps you in shape. Dog owners are more likely to engage in daily exercise, thanks to their pets’ needs. While you may be able to resist the lure of a treadmill, you can’t say no to your pet’s puppy dog eyes! Walking your dog for 30 minutes a day in just one of the health benefits of pet parenting.
  3. Happy pet, healthy heart. Pet owners have lower blood pressure and lower cholesterol. Studies have shown that dog owners have a better survival rate one year after a heart attack, while non-cat owners are 40% more likely to die of a heart attack. Lowered stress and better physical fitness are directly correlated to a healthier heart; overall, pet parents are more likely to lead a heart healthy lifestyle.
  4. Pets reduce allergy development in kids. Children raised in pet-friendly homes are less likely to develop allergies, thanks to the presence of pets. While you may not appreciate Wookie’s bad habits, your kid’s budding immune system does. Presence of allergy-inducing substances like pollen and dander increases children’s antibodies, building immune resistance at a young age. Research also shows that infants in homes with cats are significantly less likely to develop asthma, a fact that baffles scientists.
  5. Animals are calming. The health benefits of having pets are unlimited. Both dogs and cats are routinely used to reduce depression and anxiety. Animals have also been found helpful in assisting children with autism spectrum disorders and ADHD. Assistance dogs are used by those with epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, and diabetes, acting as personal assistants and moral support.

So, time to head out for the next adoption drive and bring home Wookie or Ginger soon.Check out our events page for updates on upcoming adoption drives and other pet events!

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