Did you know that owning a pet can support your health and wellness? Research shows that there are several health benefits to owning a pet. Here are some of those benefits our furry friends can provide:
Improved mental/emotional health: Pets can be great companions which can support with lessening loneliness; depression; and stress. They also can give us more of a purpose, because they are not going to walk; feed; or take themselves to the vet when sick. Their unconditional love can also bring us more joy and happiness in our lives!
Increased opportunities for exercise and outdoor activities: Most pets like to get out in the fresh air; go on long walks; and play “tug-o-war” with their toys, which makes them great accountability partners for getting more active.
Decreased blood pressure; cholesterol; and triglycerides: Since pets can support with stress management and more exercise, this in return can support our overall physical health and important lab values.
Increased socialization: Dog parks; pet friendly restaurants; doggy play dates; hiking or walking with friends with dogs; chatting about your furry friends; etc. are all great ways to get out and socialize with others. Doing these fun activities can support both your and your furry friends emotional health.
Can support with weight management: Since they hold you accountable to get out and get moving, this can help with burning off some excess calories. Stress can cause our metabolism to slow down causing weight gain, and let’s be honest a lot of us are more inclined to stress eat. Therefore, since pets can support with stress management, they can also help with weight management.
Can teach us life skills: They definitely can teach you patience during their puppy stage where they are learning to be potty trained and teething. Pets also teach you how to be responsible and care for something other than yourself. They do not care about waking you up in the middle of the night or too early in the morning, and unless you want a mess you are responsible to get up and take them out. You also have to be dedicated during the training process so you can properly discipline them.
As you can see pets can support us with living happier and healthier lives, so I encourage you to hold them a little closer; take them on a longer walk; or play with them a little more this weekend!
P.S. Remember, emotional/mental health is just as important as physical health, so consider doing something to support both of these areas of your wellness this weekend.
Have a happy and healthy Friday!