There’s nothing quite like the enthusiastic greeting from your furry companion as you walk through the door. Or the soft purr as they sit in your lap, waiting for the next stroke. They provide us with unconditional love, companionship, and emotional support. Our furry family members provide numerous benefits to us humans, such as:

Improve mental health

Pets can help to decrease depression, stress and anxiety. By reducing anxiety, pets can also help reduce chronic pain. They’ve also been shown to improve overall mood. Who doesn’t feel happier snuggled up with their furry friend?

Positive impact on physical health

Your furry companion may help to lower your blood pressure, increase your immunity and even decrease your risk of heart attack and stroke. For seniors especially, pet owners have been found to better perform every day physical activities, such as bending over, climbing stairs and preparing meals.

Support positive child development

Children who grow up in households with pets demonstrate a better ability to relate to others. For children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, taking care of a pet provides them with a comforting and predictable routine. For children with autism, petting a dog or cat can be incredibly soothing.

Encourage fitness

Those with pets, especially dogs, are much more likely to get outside for a walk. When there’s a tail wagging by the door, it gives us that extra encouragement to get outside for some exercise.

Increased socialization

All that walking outside can also result in social interactions and an increased feeling of community. Both of which are shown to improve feelings of overall well-being.

So, go ahead and give your pet an extra pat today, or let them run a little longer in the dog park. Today is as good a day as any to celebrate all that they bring to your life!