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Why pets are exactly what we need right now

All of us pet owners know that animals enrich our lives, but what some of us may not know is that our furry family members can help us get and stay healthy both physically and mentally.

When we stay in, they stay too

Yes, many of us are embarking on a new reality that includes working from home without much social interaction. While this is tough on some people, especially you extroverts, our pets likely think this is the best time of their lives. They’re thrilled to have us home and their companionship can help us manage loneliness and feelings of isolation we may be experiencing.

But, they’re happy to join us when it’s time to go out

One of the biggest pieces of information being shared right now is to do what you can to keep your immune system strong. Guess what? Pets can help with that too! Just getting outside for a daily dose of vitamin D and a little exercise has huge benefits for immune health and pets are happy to inspire us to get outside. Whether it’s a nice long walk with the dog, or even some outdoor time with a harness trained cat (it really can be done), our furry family members will appreciate the fresh air, and so will our immune systems!

They make us laugh

Have you ever caught your pet doing something silly like chasing a light reflection or doing zoomies in the backyard? It’s impossible not to laugh at those loveable goofballs! Pets not only provide us with endless entertainment, they also give us regular comic relief. Even if you don’t own a pet, you can appreciate this benefit just by doing a quick google search for silly pets. (Our search received about 51 million results!)

Creatures of habit

Right now, with kids out of school, activities cancelled and workplaces asking people to telecommute or  work alternate shifts, keeping a “normal” schedule seems impossible. Thankfully, our pets are really good at maintaining a schedule. It’s no secret they like to do the same thing at the same time every single day. Sure, some of those things can be annoying—like waking us up at 4 a.m. to eat—but these habitual creatures can help keep us on track. Consider starting a routine of walking your dog every day at the same time and we promise your pet will hold you accountable.

They just make us feel good

Did you know there’s actual science behind that? Any animal lover knows that hearing a cat’s purr or stroking a dog’s soft fur just makes you feel good. Studies have shown that when we interact with pets, our body releases serotonin, the chemical responsible for feelings of well-being, something that is beneficial to all of us during this stressful time. This also helps reduce feelings of anxiety or depression. According to research, pets also help lower our stress levels and blood pressure, minimizing our chances of having a heart attack. We knew they made our hearts full, but how great is it that they actually make our hearts healthier?

So, while we’re all navigating this unusual time together, let’s soak up some extra snuggles from our furry family members and remember that pets really are what we need right now.

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