If you don’t share your home with a companion animal, and especially if you live alone, you’re missing out on all the health benefits they offer – companion animals can:
1. Instill a sense of well-being
2. Promote lower blood pressure
3. Decrease the likelihood of depression in older adults
4. Promote higher self-esteem in older people
And one last dog-specific advantage: they can provide motivation to take daily walks, which is good for the creatures on both ends of the leash.
No matter what type of furry, finned or feathered friend you enjoy, take time this month to celebrate what animals can bring to your life by learning more about being a responsible owner. The website for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) has fascinating tips and facts on caring for almost any kind of animal. Find everything from how to provide for your companion in cold weather and home health alerts to the latest news and links for adopting an animal in need. Visit aspca.org, and be sure to spend time playing with and appreciating your special member of the family.
Reprinted from Dr. Andrew Weil’s daily “Mind, Body and Spirit” newsletter.