Happy Pet Appreciation Week!
The first week is June is for the pets! We take June 3rd-9th to really appreciate our pets and how they make our lives better. According to a 2015 Harris poll, 95% of owners think of their animal as a member of the family. We may spoil them daily but have you really sat and thought how your life would be without them? Did you know what a pet really does for us? Here's just a few of those things: 1. They make us happier and improve relationships
Pets can help us make connections with other people as pet owners often relate on a different level. Our pets can help us meet new people and get out of the house to go to gatherings and club meetings. Alan Beck, ScD, director of the Center for the Human-Animal Bond at Purdue University stated, "If I saw you walking down the street, I couldn't comfortably start talking to you if I didn't know you, but I could if you had a dog, it's an acceptable interaction that otherwise wouldn't be possible."
Photo credit: Meetup
2. They improve our phyiscal health
Pets are actually known to lower our blood pressure, heart rate and heart-disease risk. Whether this comes from the increased exercise from walking dogs or the stress relief they provide, we'll take it! While increased exercise is more likely with a dog who gets you up and off the couch for a jog around the park, physical benefits from a pet are basically endless.
Photo credit: BarkPost
3. They improve our mental health
New studies are now showing that pets can improve all kinds of mental health including challenging disorders like autism. These studies have opened up doors to animal therapy alongside conventional medication. Before it was realized what a pet can do, it was unheard of for an animal to be allowed in a hospital. Now there are programs that bring therapy dogs to lift the spirits of patients. Animal therapy has even proven as an antidote to anxiety and loneliness plus helping calm stress and fear.
Photo credit: PetPartners
Pets make our lives tremendously better so we need to take that extra time to appreciate them. "We found that pet owners, on average, were better off than non-owners, especially when they have a higher-quality relationship with their pets," says pet researcher Allen R. McConnell, PhD. He's a professor of psychology at Miami University. "What [makes] a meaningful relationship varies from person to person.” Hug them tight and say thank you!