We all know there's nothing like having a pet as a member of the family - whether furry, feathery, or scaly.
We take them everywhere (or at least try to), we concede to them being the head(s) of the household, and we love them for the unconditional love and joy they bring into our lives. Bottom line is, we love our pets and National Pet Day is the perfect day to celebrate just how awesome they are!
Some Quick Facts
Two-thirds of Americans have pets and according to the ASPCA, 70-80 million dogs and 74-96 million cats are in U.S. homes alone. Fish, birds, gerbils, and turtles aren't far behind!
According to the National Pet Day website, "National Pet Day was founded in 2006 by Pet & Family Lifestyle Expert, Animal Welfare Advocate Colleen Paige, to celebrate the joy pets bring to our lives and to create public awareness about the plight of many different kinds of animals awaiting a forever home in shelters and rescues all around the globe."
Pets With Benefits
As veterinarians, we understand the benefits humans experience by having a pet. There are tens of thousands of studies showing that having a pet has emotional, psychological, and health benefits. Just a couple of them are:
Pets Help Relieve Stress
This has an extended benefit for those with high blood pressure. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), having a pet is especially beneficial to hypertensive or high-risk patients. Stress is also a trigger for alcohol and drug abuse, so pets provide a healthy, positive alternative relief.
Natural Mood Booster!
You've had a rough day at work or school. Someone else ate your lunch that clearly had your name on it. Your computer crashed, and there was an accident that caused you to get home 45 minutes later than you should have. You walk in the door and all of a sudden, you're a rock star! Pets give that unconditional love that helps wash away the weight of that rough day (and beyond). This benefit goes beyond the everyday and is why pets are used in various forms of therapy, including soldiers dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) through the Warrior Canine Connection program.
Again, these are just a couple of the numerous benefits we gain from having a pet in our life. You can see even more at 9 Ways Pets Make You Smarter, Stronger, and More Resistant to Stress
Why We Care So Much
Pets are amazing. There is so much we are still learning about the benefits of animals in our lives. That is why at BVS when we say "we care" it's not just a statement. We genuinely care for the health and well-being of every animal that comes through our door, because we know what they give in return.
National Pet Day reminds us all that the longer we can sustain that pet-human bond, the more we will learn and benefit from every furry, feathery, and scaly friend.