You know your pets make you feel good every day. They welcome you home with smiles, tail wags, ankle rubs and purrs. What more could you ask for? Well, it turns out that owning a pet is actually a benefit to your medical and emotional well-being! You are healthier for having them in your life!
A new study by researchers from Miami University and St. Louis University was published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology and delves into the many benefits our furry friends give us. In a series of three different experiments, they have shown that pet owners get more exercise, have greater self esteem and have greater conscientiousness than non-owners. Additionally, they showed that pets can stave off feelings of negativity caused by social rejection.
We have talked before in other blogs about the benefits that pets provide to our physical health. They decrease our blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglycerides, and they increase our exercise and outdoor time. But now we have proof that they contribute to our overall well-being!
This is just a friendly reminder of how important your pet’s health is. I know you couldn’t possibly love your precious pet any more than you do, but maybe knowing that she benefits your health bumps your love meter up just a tiny notch. Do you best to keep your pet as healthy as possible, so that she can continue making you healthy!
- Schedule and keep annual exam appointments (or semi-annual exams for older pets). This is important even if your pet is not due for vaccines.
- Keep your pet at a healthy weight. Obese pets are prone to debilitating diseases like diabetes, and obesity can complicate many health conditions.
- Feed your pet healthy food. No table scraps!
- If you think your pet may be under the weather, visit your veterinarian sooner rather than later. Owners who attempt to “wait it out” may find themselves with a sicker pet and a much higher veterinary bill!
- Remember to give your pet her heartworm preventive and apply flea and tick preventive every month.
- Pay attention to your pet’s dental health. Check her teeth and gums occasionally to make sure everything looks good in there.
- Teach your pet good manners to keep her out of trouble. “Sit,” “Stay,” and “Come” are commands every good dog should know.
- Protect your pet with pet insurance so you never have to make health decisions based on finances.
- Lastly, make sure your pet has a microchip. Few things are sadder than a missing pet.
Your pet helps keep you healthy - do your best to return the favor!