Our Pets: Good For The Heart & Soul

Nothing is more comforting than the company of our beloved pets. Most of us consider them members of the family, and take great joy in caring for them. Their loyalty to us, and unconditional love is what makes sharing our lives with them so fulfilling.  The benefits of pet ownership go beyond just emotional wellbeing.  They can help us improve both our physical and mental health as well.

Studies have proven that owning a pet can ease depression, lower blood pressure and reduce stress which are all important to maintain heart health.  Just the simple act of petting a dog or cat releases serotonin giving us that "feel good" calming effect. People with dogs are also more inclined to participate in regular exercise as their furry sidekicks require regular walks and play time.

Having a pet is a wonderful way for seniors or anyone living alone to keep a regular routine and have a sense of responsibility. There is nothing better than coming home to that creature who thinks you are the most amazing person on earth!  They are also a perfect way to socialize with others as they are the quintessential conversation starter.

If you don't have a pet of your own there are other ways to experience the benefits of being around them.  Humane societies are always in need of volunteers to help walk dogs or help care for the animals.  This is a great way to provide needy animals the benefit of socialization as well!

Whether it's doting on your own four legged companions or lending a hand, interacting with animals has a powerful impact on our health.  They can teach us so much about taking time to breathe and living for the moment!

By Kurt LaCount