|Buster and Max chillin' after their walk|
Besides the exercise benefit, did you know that owning a pet can help lower your blood pressure? Petting and brushing your best friend's coat, having someone that loves you unconditionally and is waiting for you at the door without any other demands besides perhaps a treat and a pat on the head, and playing with your pet, is a proven stress-buster.
For probably many of the same reasons, pets can help battle loneliness and depression. According to an article on WebMd, researcher Judith Siegel, PhD. reports in her study that pet owners with AIDS are far less likely to suffer from depression than those without pets: "The benefit is especially pronounced when people are strongly attached to their pets,"
Did you know that kids raised with pets are far less likely to suffer from allergies and asthma than those raised in a pristine, non-animal environment? According to this article on the CNN website, 5.5 percent of kids without pets were allergic to cats compared with almost 12 percent with one cat or dog. That number dropped to just under eight percent when two or more pets were in the home.
Sure, pets take a lot of time and care, but with all these benefits and more, it just might be worth a trip to your local Humane Society! If you absolutely can't have a pet, why not think about volunteering at a local shelter, or offer to pet-sit for a friend. And if you already have pets, give them an extra pat on the head tonight.