What are the benefits of owning a pet? We hear stories on the news at times of pets rescuing their owners from a fire or getting help for someone who was injured. Heroic pets like that make the news, but the benefits of owning a pet go far beyond rescues.
Recent research shows that, contrary to popular belief, children who have pets early on are less likely to develop animal allergies. Another benefit for children is the way caring for a pet helps them develop compassion and a sense of responsibility.
Most of us are aware of the benefits of trained service animals, but many people struggling with disabilities, mental disorders, or post-traumatic stress syndrome are finding that interacting with their pet can help them cope with anxiety or depression.
Pets help reduce blood pressure and stress, and often help their owners get exercise through walking or playing. Pets are great social icebreakers and can help ward off loneliness.
Any pet owner can tell you what good therapy their pets are for them. Martha and I have taken our dog, Pug-Z, our pet Pug, with us on the campaign trail. Stop by and see him when you can!