Sydney Meyer, MS Ed, LPC with her pet, Theo

National Pet Day is a time to celebrate the furry (or feathery, or scaled!) companions who enrich our lives. But beyond the cuddles and cute antics, pets offer a surprising range of benefits for our physical and mental health.

Our Quincy Medical Group Behavioral Health team shared some ways pets can be beneficial for your well-being:

  • Healthier Heart and Body: Studies show pet owners have lower blood pressure and cholesterol, reducing the risk of heart disease. Plus, daily walks and playing with your dog are a great way to sneak in extra physical activity especially when you have been sedentary.
  • Comforting Companions: Feeling overwhelmed? Pets aren’t just adorable additions to our lives, they’re incredible sources of comfort. Their unconditional love and playful nature provide a welcome distraction from daily worries.
  • Combating Loneliness: Especially for older adults, pets offer invaluable companionship. Caring for a pet provides a sense of purpose and routine, reducing feelings of isolation and loneliness.
  • Active Lifestyle: Dog owners, in particular, get a natural boost in physical activity thanks to daily walks and playtime. This translates to a healthier weight and improved overall fitness.
  • Social Connections: Pets can be a great way to meet new people! Striking up conversations with fellow dog walkers or cat lovers in the park can lead to new friendships and a stronger social network.
  • Structure and Routine: Pets thrive on a schedule, and that can rub off on their human companions! Caring for a pet can add a sense of structure and routine to your day, which can be beneficial for people of all ages.