Good reasons to open your home and heart to a pet
When you run across a pet adoption event, are you drawn in? Those cute little fur-babies are so tempting—perhaps it's time to give in.
You already know that pets offer wonderful emotional benefits, but did you know that they can provide physical benefits as well?
In addition to unconditional love and companionship, a pet can be just the motivation you need to take better care of yourself or get more exercise. They can also make a big difference in your stress levels and mood. And, if you're walking a dog every day, there may be social benefits as well1,2.
Doctors also suggest that having a pet can help bring down your blood pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride levels3. You might be surprised to hear that cats can have an even greater impact on reducing cardiovascular risk than dogs (although both types of pets reduce risk compared to living pet-free)4.
If you live alone, you may be thinking, "I'm the only one here to take care of a pet". But the reality is, as someone living with diabetes, you're probably the most organized person you know. So you'd be the one providing care even if there were others to share the load. Still, that can be a good reason to get an older pet that's already house trained.
Bottom line—unless allergies, rental rules, memory or mobility problems prohibit owning a pet, it may be time to start thinking about names. We like Mirabel or Digby.
1Harvard Health Publications (2016). The health benefits and risks of pet ownership. Retrieved from: http://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/the-health-benefits-and-ri.... Accessed August 4 2021.
2Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2020). Dogs. Retrieved from: https://www.cdc.gov/healthypets/pets/dogs.html. Accessed August 4 2021.
3Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2019). Health benefits of pets. Retrieved from: https://www.cdc.gov/healthypets/health-benefits/index.html. Accessed August 4 2021.
4Ogechi I, Snook K, Davis BM, et. al. Pet ownership and the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease among adults without major chronic medical conditions. High Blood Press Cardiovasc Prev. 2016;23:245. Retrieved from: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s40292-016-0156-1. Accessed August 4 2021.
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