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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

How Pets Can Improve Your Health and Wellness

How Pets Can Improve Your Health and Wellness

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From NurseWise:

Pet owners know that companion animals can bring joy and happiness to their lives, but many are unaware of the physical and mental health benefits that can also accompany the pleasure of playing with or snuggling up to a furry friend. The heath care experts at NurseWise, a nurse triage and health education provider, are pleased to share a how bringing a pet into your life can improve your physical and mental well-being.

Find time to play - Exercise doesn’t have to involve boring repetition at a gym. Taking a dog for a walk, riding a horse, or simply chasing a kitten around the house are all fun ways to start or enhance a daily exercise regimen.

Rely on a friend who’s always there - Isolation and loneliness can make disorders such as depression even worse. Caring for a living animal can help make you feel needed and wanted, and take the focus away from your problems, especially if you live alone. Most pet owners talk to their pets, and some even use them to work through their troubles. Nothing beats loneliness like coming home to a wagging tail or purring cat.

Meet new people -Pets can be a great ice breaker for their owners. Dog owners frequently stop and talk to each other on walks or in a dog park. Pet owners also meet new people in pet stores, clubs and training classes.

Reduce anxiety- The company of an animal can offer comfort, help ease anxiety, and build self-confidence for people anxious about going out into the world.

Add structure and routine to your day. Many pets, especially dogs, require a regular feeding and exercise schedule. No matter your mood —depressed, anxious, or stressed — you’ll always have to get out of bed to feed, exercise, and care for your pet. And your pet is most likely to put a smile on your face.

Provide sensory stress relief. Touch and movement are two healthy ways to quickly manage stress. It doesn’t have to be a pricey massage — simply petting a cat, taking a dog for a walk or riding a horse can help alleviate stress and put you in a better state of mind.

 

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