I believe if our pets could talk, this is what they would say to us. They don’t need fancy food, or pretty collars or the latest toy, they just need someone to pet them. To hug them. To love them. More than just once in awhile.
Love Your Pet Day is February 20, and I challenge you to use it as a dress rehearsal for the other 364 days of the year. Because guess what? Loving your pet will not only lift him up, it will brighten your mood too.
Benefits of pets
- Lower your blood pressure. Dog owners are more active than non-pet owners, keeping their blood pressure in check. There are so many positive reasons to get outside and walk!
- Keep stress at bay. Not only does petting a cat or dog feel good (to you and your pet), it can also lower blood pressure by cutting down on stress hormones.
- Encourage friendships. It’s easier to meet neighbors when you are out and about walking your dog, and pets are good conversation starters. It's also important to socialize your dog, so there's no excuse to stay cooped up indoors.
- Improve mood and give life meaning. Research has shown that pet owners tend to be happier and healthier. Read more about Allen R. McConnell, PhD’s pet research here.
- Benefit baby’s and kids’ immune systems. When infants are exposed to germs in just the right amount, their immune systems mature best. Dogs and cats may bring just the right amount of germs into their human brothers and sisters’ homes (according to Many Babies Healthier in Homes with Dogs, by Daniel J. DeNoon). Pets can also provide a few other benefits to children.
How to love your pet…
- Pet him! It can be very easy to go through an entire day without coming into contact with your pet, aside from the regular feedings and letting out to go potty. Get down on the floor and give your pet a good massage.
- Try something new. Take your dog on a new walk, hike, or to a dog park. Try doga, camping, or even kayaking!
- Have a playdate. Team up with fellow pet lovers and get your furry friends together to hike or just play together.
- Make homemade dog biscuits. There are lots of great recipes for homemade dog treats out there, many of them with very healthy ingredients. Check back next week for a great video showing how to make Peanut Butter Pumpkin Dog Treats.
- Adopt and love a shelter dog or cat. Use Petfinder’s Animal Shelters and Rescues search tool to find shelters in your area. When I put in my city and state, it generated 482 shelters and rescues! This is a great time to honor the hard work and time these organizations invest in finding forever homes for homeless animals.
- Invest in pet insurance. Insurance can give you the peace of mind to know you can handle a pet emergency financially. And if something big does come up, you will be prepared and will not be faced with a tough decision. Pet insurance doesn't only help for unexpected accidents and illnesses, it can also reimburse towards wellness care items too. Get a quote today!