Thank you to the Canyon County Animal Shelter for providing us with such great articles as this one by David Port, New Parent Guide editor. This excerpt is from the 14th edition of the New Parent Guide.

Very real health benefits associated with our companion animals.

Consider the following very real — and medically documented — benefits of spending time with a companion animal:

  • Lower blood pressure, triglyceride, cholesterol and stress levels, according to the U.S Centers for Disease Control.
  • Fewer doctor visits, especially for non-serious medical conditions, according to a U.S. National Institutes of Health study.
  • Increased cooperativeness, sharing and self-esteem among children, according to studies.
  • Among seniors, improved physical health and a significant decrease in feelings of loneliness.

Findings such as these have made believers out of skeptics. Here’s what Dr. Edward Creagan, an oncologist at the world-renowned Mayo Clinic cancer treatment facility in Minnesota, told the Delta Society (deltasociety.org) about the connection he has observed between pets and human health: “A pet is a medication without side effects that has so many benefits. I can’t always explain it myself, but for years now I’ve seen how instances of having a pet is like an effective drug. It really does help people.”

“When patients tell us that they went to a shelter to rescue that dog or cat,” Creagan continues, “in effect that dog or cat really rescues us — it’s the healing power of pets.”

Elderly Couple with a dog

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