Thanksgiving is a time of gratitude – gratitude for all the wonderful moments, comforts, memories, and loved ones. So, naturally, this is the perfect time to also reflect on the many ways our pet companions add joy and meaning to our lives. That’s why the team at Pet Medical Center – Chatoak have compiled some of the reasons pets are so important to us.
Five Reasons to Be Thankful for Pet Companions
- Pets keep us healthy. According to studies by the American Heart Association (and numerous others), pets help us achieve lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and keep us at healthier weights. Additional studies indicate that cat owners are 40% less likely to suffer a heart attack or stroke than non-cat owners.
- Pets encourage us to be connected. Nothing beats loneliness like snuggling up with our best fur friend. Dogs also help their owners to connect with other neighbors and fellow dog enthusiasts. Retirees or older individuals who have lost a spouse experience improved well-being with pet companionship. Lastly, when it comes to children, caring for pets has been shown to help with the development of empathy.
- Pets keep us active. If you’re a dog owner, you likely know that dogs have a way of getting us off the couch and out the door. Daily dog walks keep us moving, and dog owners are more likely to get exercise than non-dog owners. For cats, pick up some interactive toys and games, and get in on the fitness fun!
- Pets lift our spirits. Pet ownership is a natural mood booster. It’s actually a scientific fact that pet ownership increases dopamine and serotonin levels, which are responsible for mood improvement, decreased stress, and relaxation.
- Pets give us a sense of home and purpose. Most people find comfort in the familiar and in having a daily routine. For pet owners, the daily routine of feeding, brushing, and exercise creates a sense of purpose – particularly when we feel stressed, sad, or distracted. Pets are experts at making a house feel more like a home. They’re always happy to see us, provide comfort when we’ve had a bad day, and just make life more upbeat, carefree, and filled with love.
At Pet Medical Center – Chatoak, we’re thankful for all our amazing pet patients and their loving families. From all of us, we wish you and your companion a warm and wonderful Thanksgiving!