The Healing Power Of Pets

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Post by Blog Manager Robbi Hess

Consider this: There are close to 70 million dogs and close to 75 million cats that live their lives in the
1376388_10151645491036721_107529666_n loving embrace of a family. As pet parents we spend billions of dollars on our pets annually. The money spent goes toward vet bills, food, treats, clothing, grooming… the list goes on. Do we do this because we don't have anything else to spend our hard earned money on? Chances are, no. Why do we lavish such attention on our pets? I believe it's because of the unconditional love they lavish on us. 

When life is treating you with the subtlety of a sledgehammer, here are the ways in which your pet can soothe the stresses and in the words of the Calgon commercials, "take me away" to a better state of mind: 

  • Your pets really don't require much of you that you weren't planning to give when they came into your house. Chances are you planned to take walks with your dog, or spend time petting your cat. Walking your dog is great for both your mental and physical health. Petting a cat is an ideal way to unwind and relax (so is petting your dog!) 

  • Regardless of whether you dealt with angry motorists or an unreasonable boss, once you come home and are greeted by the enthusiastic barking and jumping and hopping of your dog, who cares what your boss said or that the driver behind you beeped one second after the light turned green? Your pet won't yell at you or add to the messages in your inbox. 
  • When the days get shorter and the nights get colder, is there anything better than curling up on the couch with your pet? Not only do they add to the warmth of the blanket you're using to cover up with, but they aren't concerned that the house needs to be vacuumed and you should probably finish that laundry. Pets are perfect procrastinators and know how to relax. 
  • Take a cue from your pet when you sit down to a meal. Whether you feed your pet the same food day in and day out, she likely approaches that food bowl with unbridled excitement and it is THE best meal she's had (since you fed her her last meal). 
  • Stop and smell the poo… let's face it, your dog isn't smelling the roses when you take him out. He's sniffing out the poo in the yard, the scent of the deer that are in the backyard, the neighbor's cat who's been hanging out on the porch steps. Take a cue from your pet and when you step outside, take a moment to savor the fresh scent of the autumn air, listen to the birds in the trees, enjoy the crunch of the leaves beneath your feet. 
  • When it's time for bed watch your pet; she scruffs up the blankets, takes a few turns in a circle then sticks her nose under the covers and doesn't worry about anything until the morning. Your to do list will still be there as will the laundry or other chores. 
  • Take time today to truly enjoy your pet; the feel of her fur under your fingers, the loving gaze he sends your way, the head tilt, the head rubs from your kitty or the excited squeals of your guinea pig. Sure, medical science can contribute to our lives and can help take away the stresses of the day, but let's never forget the healing power of our pets; as someone in a recent Twitter chat said, "my mom says even though she rescued me, I really rescued her."  

    Does your pet enhance your life? We'd love to hear how! 

    4 Responses to “The Healing Power Of Pets”

    1. Seizures in Dogs

      This is so true! My dog Goku has taught me so much about patience and living in the moment. Running and walking the trails, then relaxing and people watching is one of our favorite activities. Gokus Curiosity always makes me smile! Great article!

    2. Karen Hug-Nagy

      Boy isn’t that the truth. They are just the best, I love hanging out with my two dogs. They are non-judgmental, don’t argue with me, and I know petting them and snuggling with them lowers my blood pressure. Thanks for such a great article.

    3. Robbi

      I find, too, that Henrietta picks up on my moods so if I am stressed she starts pacing and licking her blanket so that makes me calm down as well. I mean, I certainly don’t want her to be upset!

    4. Dawn

      Sephi, Maya, and Pierson have greatly helped me deal with my fibromyalgia (which I will be posting about tomorrow). They comfort me when I’m down, make me laugh even though I’m not in the best of moods, help me destress, and make sure I get plenty of fun exercise.