Benefits of owning a pet (or more)

If you’re already the grown-up to a pet, you know the ways they enrich your life—but you might not be aware of all the health benefits that come with this incredible experience. From reducing stress and making new friends to exercising more, owning a pet could be just what the doctor ordered.

Studies show that pet owners have lower blood pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride levels, minimizing the risk of having a heart attack. And, for people who’ve already had a heart attack, pet owners have better recovery rates—all by having a furry friend around to lower stress levels.

There’s some solid science behind how pets decrease stress and anxiety. Spending time with a pet increases the brain’s production of serotonin, a chemical that boosts feelings of well-being, while decreasing production of the depression and anxiety chemical, cortisol. Many airports even use pets to calm anxious passengers, including Denver International Airport, and some hospitals and nursing homes bring pets in to improve the mood of patients. (Of course, during the time of COVID-19, programs most likely have been suspended.)

Children benefit from having pets in the home, too. Beyond the joy and bonding a pet brings to a child’s life, having a pet in the home can actually lower a child’s likelihood of developing pet-related allergies by as much as 33 percent. In fact, children who have pets around early in life tend to develop stronger immune systems overall. And for adults, owning a dog promotes healthy exercise and can help improve social interaction—not only are pets a great icebreaker, but they’re a common denominator in conversations with new people.

Learn more about the physical and mental benefits of adopting a pet in our “Why pets are exactly what we need right now” article. And, when you’re ready to adopt, visit our adoptions page or call 303.751.5772 to read about pets in need of loving homes. All adoptions include spay or neuter surgeries, age-appropriate vaccinations, a microchip ID and a free wellness visit with a participating veterinarian.

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