Make A Date With Your Pet
February 20th is Love Your Pet Day and it's a great day to show your furbaby just how much you love him or her. Pets give us their unconditional love every day so why not make a date with your pet and show them just how special they really are.
In fact, did you know that owning a pet offers a host of health benefits? Our furry little friends provide lots of emotional, as well as physical benefits for our health and we have listed 5 of the main health benefits below.
1. Go walkies
There is nothing your dog loves more than to get out and about. Exercising your pet with a daily walk not only stretches their legs but getting out and about in the fresh air really can help you keep your weight in check. Experts recommend we take around 10,000 steps every day to maintain overall fitness so ensuring you take your pooch out daily can really help contribute to your step count! If you are feeling extra energetic (and your dog is up for it too) why not take them running with you. Running will provide you with additional health benefits and most dogs love it too. Make it a weekly thing and try parkrun with your pooch! Parkrun is a weekly free organised 5k run and pooches are more than welcome to come along. Find out more here www.parkrun.org.uk
2. Stay happy
Those of us with pets know too well how lovely it is to come home at the end of the day and be greeted by a very excited fury friend. Even after the most stressful day at work, uni or school, coming home to a wagging tail or friendly feline can lift even the darkest of moods, helping to reduce stress and depression. Countless studies have all shown that having a pet reduces stress and that patting your pet releases endorphins and other feel good chemicals in your brain. In fact one leading psychologist at the London Medical Centre states that having a pet is better than Prozac!*
3. Lower your Cholesterol & Blood pressure
Studies in America have shown that those who own pets tend to have lower cholesterol levels than those who don’t. Triglyceride levels are also lower. However, we are unsure if having a pet around contributes to this or if those who maintain healthier lifestyles are more often pet owners.
It is also claimed that pet owners are more likely to have lower blood pressure than those who don’t. This could be linked to the emotional benefits that having a pet bring and the fact they reduce stress levels. You worry about work or money and life in general, but you can rest assured you will always have the love of your pooch or moggie. Both are almost always happy and that is bound to rub off on us owners.
4. Stay Social
Owning pets can increase a person’s opportunity to meet new people and socialise. You will often find people stop to talk to you about your dog on walk in the park or you may bond with a neighbour over your shared love of our feline friends. There are also lots of groups active on social media where you can meet and interact with pet lovers just like you.
Studies show that children who grow up with pets can also benefit from higher self-esteem, cognitive development and social skills. It also helps teach them responsibility and empathy.
5. Save a life
Pets have been domesticated for 1000s of years, so it not surprise that they have learned to monitor our smells and behaviours. In many cases dogs and cats have saved their owners lives because they knew that something just wasn’t right. Studies have shown that 1/3 pets living with diabetic owners would change their behaviour when their owners blood sugar levels drop. This could be due to a reaction to chemical changes in the owner’s body. Dogs, cat and even birds in these circumstances have been able to alert their owners to falling levels.
A dog’s extraordinary sense of smell has also been linked to detecting cancer in their owners. A dog’s sense of smell is 100,000 times more responsive than our own and it is thought that this allows them to detect cancer through the smelling of human skin lesions, urine and even our breath.
We all knew pets were amazing and the above shows how our pet is contributing to helping keep you happy and healthy. So why not return the love and spoil them on Love Your Pet Day.
*source Telegraph online, Pets are better than Prozac, 2006
Posted on 19 Feb 2019