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National Pet Day: How Does Your Pet Enhance Your Life?

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Today is National Pet Day, a time to reflect on the relationship we have with our pets, and how much they bring to our lives.

For those of us that own pets, we know how much they add to our lives, but did you know studies have been conducted that show pets keep us mentally and physically healthier?  Here are some examples of the benefits of pet ownership:

Blood pressure A study in Australia of 5,741 people showed that those with pets had significantly lower blood pressure and blood- fat levels than non-pet owners.

Anxiety Researchers at the Virginia Commonwealth University in the US took animals into a psychiatric hospital to visit 230 patients. They found that interaction with an animal significantly reduced patients’ anxiety.

Depression In a study last year, Italian researchers found that dogs lowered depression among patients undergoing chemotherapy.

Foster friendships A University of Warwick study in 2000 showed that being accompanied by a dog meant more interactions with strangers.

Exercise A 2006 US study of 1,282 dog-walkers concluded that owning a dog encouraged people to take more exercise.

It’s been said pets are our best friends, the evidence above goes a long way in supporting that thought.  Sit back, relax and enjoy some special time today with your pet.

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