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At Home Therapy: 6 Reasons Why It’s Healthy To Own a Pet

boy and dog outside grassNothing lifts your mood like a pet greeting you at the door after a long work day. A loyal pet gives you unconditional love and can have a positive impact on your health. Pets improve our emotional, psychological and physical health by keeping us active and reducing stress. Health benefits of pet ownership have led to the creation of animal therapy programs in children’s hospitals, assisted living facilities, nursing homes and hospice programs. Here is our list of the top 6 healthy reasons to own a pet.

1. The Best Cardio Workout Partner
Owning a dog is like having a personal trainer with big eyes and a leash in his mouth. A dog adds structure to your day and gets your heart rate up by making exercise a daily routine. Dogs make great jogging or hiking buddies. For a more challenging pastime you could try agility training … dogs love it.

2. Shed Extra Pounds
Exercise does not have to be fast and furious to be effective. Simply walking your dog 2-3 times daily will help shed extra pounds. Who can resist a walk with man’s best friend?

3. Relieve Anxiety
Reducing stress has been shown to reduce blood pressure and boost the immune system. Petting a dog or cat can calm frayed nerves and alleviate stress. Even pets you cannot touch, like fish swimming in a fish tank, can have a calming effect.

4. Companionship
Pets can help fend off loneliness and depression. Not only are pets great company, they are a good ice breaker when meeting new people. It’s easy to start a conversation about your pet, especially if the other person is also an animal lover.

5. Emotional Support
A family pet can give children emotional support. Children often form lasting bonds with animals. Animals also nurture empathy, compassion and a sense of responsibility in younger family members.

6. Immune System Booster
New studies suggest children who are exposed to animals at an early age tend to have stronger immune systems. Boosting your child’s immune system is a great excuse for bringing a loving pet into the family.

The human-animal bond goes back a long time and is an important part of human history. The positive health benefits of owning a pet is not merely anecdotal. New studies from www.AnimalHospitalWilloughby.com support what many pet owners have known for a long time; having a pet is good for your mind, your body and your soul.

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