Happy New Year! Did you, like so many others, resolve in one way or another to improve your health? Whether in the form of working out or de-stressing or lowering your blood pressure (the list goes on…), it turns out, the companionship of a pet can assist you in your endeavor.
-Increasing exercise. Exercise doesn’t have to involve boring repetition at a gym. Taking a dog for a walk, riding a horse, or simply chasing a kitten around are fun ways to fit healthy daily exercise into your schedule. Studies have shown that dog owners, for example, are far more likely to meet their daily exercise requirements than non-owners.
-Providing companionship. Isolation and loneliness can make disorders such as depression even worse. Caring for a living animal can help make you feel needed and wanted, and take the focus away from your problems, especially if you live alone. Most pet owners talk to their pets, some even use them to work through their troubles. And nothing beats loneliness like coming home to a wagging tail or purring cat.
-Helping meet new people. Pets can be a great social lubricant for their owners. Dog owners frequently stop and talk to each other on walks or in a dog park. Pet owners also meet new people in pet stores, clubs, and training classes.
-Reducing anxiety. The companionship of an animal such as a dog can offer comfort, help ease anxiety, and build self-confidence for people anxious about going out into the world.
-Adding structure and routine to your day. Many pets, especially dogs, require a regular feeding and exercise schedule. No matter your mood—depressed, anxious, or stressed—you’ll always have to get out of bed to feed, exercise, and care for your pet.
-Providing sensory stress relief. Touch and movement are two healthy ways to quickly manage stress. This could involve petting a cat, taking a dog for a walk, or riding a horse.
And the best news is, a new year for you can be a new chance for one of our rescue dogs. So if you’re thinking of taking the leap, start here!