Having a pet is a big responsibility, but for most of us pet owners, caring for our furry friends becomes an internal part of our unconscious. We know when and what to feed them, when they should be taken outside, and even when they may not be feeling their best. Our pets rely on us for their every need, and we rely on their companionship. No one keeps a secret better than a pet.
Reward them for being there for you by keeping them at their happiest. Sometimes things become so routine that we forget to “change it up” a bit, but our pets need excitement and adventure just as much as we do. If you love your pal, include them in your activities! Remember, your pet may be a huge part of your world, but you are your pet’s entire world. Increase the amount of time you spend with your pet. Pets make for great workout partners. Not only will the added exercise benefit them, but your health will flourish as well.
“Pet ownership is linked to a reduction in cardiovascular disease risk factors, such as lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol levels and a lower likelihood of obesity. Another study found that cat owners were 40 percent less likely than their feline-free counterparts to have a heart attack or stroke,” says Dr. Becker, a veterinarian and contributor for Good Morning America.
A variety of scientific evidence directly links pets to the state of their owners’ good health. Studies show that dog owners are less likely to develop depression and anxiety than those who do not own a canine companion. The mere act of playing with an animal, such as a dog – or a kitty! – actually increases dopamine and serotonin levels, which help us relax and relieve stress. Another study found that pet owners at age 65 or over actually live longer and make fewer trips to their regular doctor by about 30%.