The unconditional love and devotion pets show their owners is undeniable. So let's celebrate it! Set aside time this May to honor National Pet Awareness Month with your favorite four-legged companion. Here are 10 reasons why.
1. Pets Increase Happiness
The sleepy yawn of a puppy is guaranteed to make you smile. But, according to Saint Vincent Medical Group, pets can decrease stress, anxiety, and depression, as well. Next time you have to spend time without family and friends around, give your pets extra attention to generate positive feelings. Snuggle with your cat or dog on the couch and indulge in a cute animal movie together.
2. Animal Care Improves Human Health
Taking the dog for a walk or the cat out in an enclosed pet stroller is just as good for you as it is for the pet. The extra boost of exercise can lower your blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and triglycerides, explains the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on its Healthy Pets Healthy People website.
3. Pets Promote Socialization
If you live alone, it can be tough to have much of a social group beyond your family members or office mates. Dogs and cats make it easy to socialize. Take your pet to the local animal-friendly pet store for some shopping and conversations with animal lovers.
4. Animals Are Therapeutic
Animal-assisted therapy has long been a treatment used by medical professionals for a variety of ailments. But you don't have to have a service dog or therapy cat to reap the rewards of pet ownership. A well-trained household cat or dog can provide comfort and contentment, too.
5. Pets Keep Minds Sharp
Having a daily routine and responsibilities is important for keeping your mind sharp. Since cats and dogs need daily care, this can keep a person with a sedentary lifestyle mentally sharp. Remembering to feed, water, bathe, and exercise a pet takes time and commitment, which keeps you focused and mentally aware.
6. Animals Increase Motivation
It's easy to get into a rut and just lounge around the house after a long day of work. Thankfully, pets motivate you to stay active. Whether it's playing fetch with the dog or shining a laser toy on the wall for the cat, pets make it easy to pass the time productively.
7. Pets Make You Adventuresome
Without the curious nature of my two dogs, there're many places I never would have explored on my own. Their curious noses have led me to find hidden ponds in our local state park and amazing hiking trails on vacation.
8. Animals Encourage Patience
Since pets can't talk, you have to figure out the meaning of each and every meow, bark, or wag. This can take time and definitely teaches you patience.
9. Pets Don't Judge
Your cat or dog accepts you despite your social and financial status. Animals don't care what type of car you drive or what neighborhood you live in. As long as you are kind to them, they will return the favor.
10. Animals Show Love
Finally, my favorite part of being a pet owner is showing my pets how much I love them and receiving genuine love from them in return. How will you and your pets celebrate National Pet Awareness Month? Tell us about your favorite activities with your furry companions in the comments!