The red cat sitting on a shoulder at the childFollowing in the footsteps of Valentine’s Day, many pet lovers will be celebrating National Love Your Pet Day on Friday, February 20. Oh, sure, how can there be just ONE day to celebrate the joy our fur, finned, feathered, and scaled pet companions bring us?! And, you’re right!

Consider National Love Your Pet Day to be a reminder of all the ways pets improve our lives and how important it is to pay attention to their emotional and physical wellness throughout the year.

Ten Amazing Ways Pets Improve Our Lives

In the spirit of the day, we have come up with our top ten favorites when it comes to the many benefits of pet ownership.

  1. Pets keep us connected – Whether on our walks to the park or on our way to a pet parade, our pets have a way of connecting us with other pet lovers and our neighborhoods and communities.
  2. Pets improve our heart health – Studies have shown that pets can improve cardiovascular health and decrease the likelihood of a heart attack, especially with those who have had a heart attack in the past and have since added a pet to the home.
  3. Pets give our day purpose and structure – For retirees or those who spend most of their time at home, pets can provide a sense of purpose and structure through daily feeding, exercise, grooming, and all of the other ways our pets rely on us for their care.
  4. Pets soothe our stress levels – Among those with increased blood pressure as a result of stress, the time spent with a pet has been proven to be more effective than certain medications.
  5. Pets help to  improve mood and avoid depression – Recent studies have found that pet owners tend to be happier and less depressed and that pets could even help decrease feelings of loneliness and isolation.
  6. Pets keep us moving – Dog ownership, in particular, tends to keep us motivated to exercise each day, since our dogs, too, require 20 minutes or more of daily physical movement. Skip the gym; get a dog!
  7. Pets help prevent allergies and asthma – Children born into households with pets have a significant reduction in the chances of developing allergies and asthma later in life.
  8. Pets lower our blood pressure and cholesterol levels – Struggling with HBP or high cholesterol? Time spent petting or talking to an animal companion has been shown to reduce both of these health risks.
  9. Pets improve our immunity – It’s true – people with pets, particularly canines, seem to become ill less frequently and less severely than people with no pets due to the immunity-strengthening bacteria they introduce to the home.
  10. Pets offer unconditional love – Of course, our favorite pet perk is the unconditional love they provide pet families through their affection, attention, and sheer joy.

What are some of the ways your pet brings more meaning to your day?

From The Pet Experts at Springbrook Animal Care Center, Happy National Love Your Pet Day!