Studies have shown that dogs and pets in your life can really make an amazing difference to your health! They reduce blood pressure, cholesterol and heart rate. They also lessen stress, boost your mood and decrease you allergies, unless of course it’s pet dander that you’re allergic to. 🙂

Unfortunately, pet ownership is not for everyone. You may not have the time or space or even the inclination to actually own and take care of a dog or cat on a daily basis but you can still get some of the benefits in other ways.

  • Volunteer at your local shelter or rescue group. You can walk dogs, play with cats and other animals and provide them with some much needed attention. Or you could even foster an animal until it find its ‘forever’ home. This is also a great way to find out if having a pet on a full time basis is for you.
  • Get out in nature! Try hiking or camping or just walking and commune with nature. Listen to the birds. Just the quiet peacefulness can do amazing things things for your health.
  • Take an animal vacation. Try a vacation where you can swim with the dolphins or maybe or hang out with some horses. You can try a dude ranch or maybe a horse-therapy facility.

And if you are a dog owner, maybe you want to share the love of the dog health benefits with others. Therapy dogs are working wonders nowadays in hospitals, schools, nursing homes and other facilities. Perhaps you and your pooch could become a therapy team. You can check your area for therapy dog training. Basically, therapy dogs should be calm and agreeable, not skittish and be able to handle being petted and cuddled by people.

Do you have a canine companion that’s a candidate?

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