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National Pet Day Highlights the Important Role of Pets


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Pets can help lower blood pressure, cholesterol levels and triglyceride levels, and help increase opportunities for exercising and outdoor activities.

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Today is National Pet Day, and what better time than now to ponder the vital role that pets play in every day human lives?

Millions of people around the country have pets, most commonly cats and dogs, and realize the benefits. Pets bring more to our lives than just laughs as they do something silly—they give us a better quality of life and health benefits.

“Many people greatly underestimate just how much having a pet in their life does for their psychological well being, as well as their overall health,” said Will Post, founder and CEO of Hound & Gatos Pet Foods Corp. “Pets play a very important role in enriching our lives in many different ways.”

Pets can help lower blood pressure, cholesterol levels and triglyceride levels, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Pets also can help increase opportunities for exercising and outdoor activities, the CDC reports. The National Institutes of Health reports that those with dogs tend to get more exercise and health benefits than those who do not have them. They also found that older adults who lived with dogs tended to have better mobility than those who didn’t have a dog.

Pets reduce feelings of loneliness and increase opportunities for socialization.

Pets can help those with chronic illness or who are in rehabilitation. A recent study in the journal Rehabilitation Nursing reported that incorporating animal-assisted therapy in acute rehabilitation settings helps patients obtain greater satisfaction.

Bonding that takes place when people walk their dogs, and it brings health benefits for the person, according to a March 2016 study in the journal Gerontologist. They report that those who engage in dog walking have a lower body mass index, few daily living limitations, fewer doctor visits and get more exercise. Having a pet can have an influence on how well someone is aging.

“It is amazing all of the benefits that we can get from having a pet, especially if we are actively walking our dogs every day,” said Post. “They do a lot to help keep us healthy. There are things we can do in return to help keep them healthy and aging well. This is especially true and important when it comes to what we feed our pets. Feeding them a high quality diet keeps them healthy, and in return they can help keep us healthy.”

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