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May is National Pet Month!

Dog

As if you need more reasons to adopt a pet – it’s National Pet Month! The aim of this event is to promote the responsible ownership of pets, increase awareness of the many benefits of pet ownership, and enhance the recognition of service animals. In a nutshell, we all need to recognize how special our pets are and work to make their lives better, since they improve our lives on a daily basis.

So Why Are Pets So Good for Us?

For one, regular ownership of pets helps to reduce allergies and cut down on colds. It is thought that this occurs because pets help us strengthen our immune systems and lower stress, which in turn helps us stay healthy. However, those with severe allergies may want to take the extra step of finding a hypoallergenic breed of pet to bring home, which will provide many of the same benefits.

Pet Owners are More Active

Most people with pets, particularly dogs, are more active. This regular activity helps to improve heart health, reduce obesity, and in turn give us healthier overall lifestyles. Having a pet can also help people who are dealing with grief, loneliness, or depression by providing them with a non-judgemental companion who stays with them through thick and thin. This companionship is why many seniors find so much solace in sharing their lives with a pet. How to be a responsible pet owner There are many things we can do to improve the lives of dogs, cats, and small animals. For one, consider adopting your next pet rather than encouraging breeding. There are already more than enough domesticated pets in this world without them procreating. In the same vein, ensure your pet is spayed or neutered early. If you have your heart set on a specific breed, try search engines like Petfinder which let you narrow down your search, or look for breed-specific rescue organizations in your area. Your pet needs to be vaccinated each year against common pet ailments, both for the safety of your pet and others, particularly if your pet spends time in dog parks or kennels. Regular health checkups can catch health problems before they become serious, so your pet can enjoy a long and healthy life. What else? If you have pets already, or can’t have a pet at the moment you can still support National Pet Month. Donate to your local shelter (time or money), find items they need (blankets, food, towels, cleaning supplies, etc.) or put together a fund raising event. Anything you can do can make a difference. Visit http://www.petmonth.com for more information on National Pet Month. Photo credit:

ewen and donabel
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