Giving Thanks for Furry Friends

Giving Thanks for Furry Friends

Thanksgiving is a good time to be thankful for all members your family – maybe even and especially your furry ones. According to a new study of more than 3.4 million people by Scientific Reports, owning a dog is linked to a longer life. It’s part of a growing body of evidence suggesting that our pets are beneficial in more ways than we thought.

The season of gratitude is the perfect time to paws and reflect on the three most important ways dogs and cats help their human beings: physically, mentally and even (and most importantly) spiritually.

 Physical Benefits

  • For those looking to shed a few pounds or be more fit, having a dog can increase your chances of success.
  • A study at Uppsala University in Sweden found that dog owners had a lower risk of death due to cardiovascular disease than people who did not report owning a dog, as well as a lower risk of death from other causes.
  • Another report by The Journal of Vascular and Interventional Neurology found similar benefits for cats owners.

 Mental Benefits

  • Researchers at University of Missouri-Columbia proved that playing with a dog or cat can elevate levels of serotonin, dopamine, prolactin and oxytocin, all ‘feel good’ hormones that help with happiness, emotional balance and relaxation.
  • According medical literature, staying socially active and engaged helps stave off mental decline as we age. For some people (and for a variety of reasons), maintaining these connections can be challenging which is why neurologists are recommending caring for a pet for their elderly patients.

Spiritual Benefits

  • Due to their lack of judgement and purity of intent, our pets resonate with us in a deep way that few other humans can. Lacking ego, they provide unconditional love that is far from typical in human relationships.
  • Energetic healers and therapists of all stripes can attest to the spiritual healing provided by our furry friends. In fact pet therapy is gaining more and more traction, helping kids with special needs, victims of trauma and PTSD and even stressed-out holiday travelers!

Hopefully your holidays are festive and relatively stress free – but if they’re not, you have only to turn to your four-legged friends for tidings of comfort and joy. Maybe even slip them some left-over turkey while you're at it!



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