Celebrating National Pet Day: What benefits do animals bring to our lives?

William Woods Undergraduate

April 11th is national pet day — a day to celebrate the furry, scaled, feathery or finned members of our family and what they mean to us.

In that spirit of celebration, we thought we’d take pause to reflect on and appreciate the many ways in which pets add to our lives.

Dogs, and sometimes cats, can be used to help the blind, detect seizures in individuals, to help with physical rehabilitation, occupational therapy, speech therapy and more. However, aside from specific therapeutic roles, the companionship animals provide in general adds not only to our happiness but also to our health.

Research studies recorded by The Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) and The National Center for Health Research show that human-animal interaction enhances:

  • Opportunity for exercise and outdoor activity
  • Opportunity for socialization
  • Feelings of well-being

And reduces:

  • Blood pressure, cholesterol levels and triglyceride levels
  • Anxiety and stress
  • Visits to the doctor’s office or number of days spent home sick
  • Depression and feelings of loneliness

In a video by SoulPancake, owners of several different types of animals share what their pets bring to them. Some answers include: joy, unconditional love, companionship, comfort, sensitivity, selflessness, and the ability to practice commitment.

As we discussed in a previous blog post and as you can see in this video, the vast majority of pet owners see their pet as a member of the family, which is why veterinarians play such a vital role in keeping someone’s loved one healthy. Through the pre-vet concentration and pre-vet club at William Woods, students will begin to learn the skills to care for and treat these valued animal companions.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *