As pet owners, we have much to be thankful for from the presence of our pets. They light up our lives in our darkest moments and can turn our frown upside down. They are also good for our health.

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It’s true that our pets are an investment. We spend much of our savings on them from squeaky toys to premium food. In our eyes, they deserve the best of the best and more often than not we are willing to give it to them. With the undivided attention and affection they give us and those eyes that never judge and only love, it is an investment that has always proven to be well worth it. But this is not the only benefit we can reap from our fuzzy companions. Studies have proven time and again the health advantages of owning a pet. Both mentally and physically our health can flourish with the addition of a furry, wet-nosed, whiskered friend in our lives.

Physical Health Benefits
As Dr. Oz has pointed out,“Petting your animal has been clinically proven to reduce blood pressure and increase serotonin, a hormone that helps to elevate your mood.” Research has shown that petting a dog lowers blood pressure and increases serotonin. In the PBS NOVA documentary, it was discovered that pet owners that have a heart attack are three times more likely to survive the heart attack if they own a pet. Let’s not forget that dog owners especially exercise more often since they must take their dog on a walk and engage their canine in physical activity at least once a day.

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Mental Health Benefits
Having a dog is an easy solution for fighting depression and lifting our mood. It is nearly impossible to stay mad or sad when our dog looks at us with those puppy dog eyes or licks our face with a special blend of tender yet fierce love, not caring how we look or what mistakes we’ve made that day. Pets’ love is constant and unyielding . They will never leave us if we never leave them. We can tell them secrets and unload our problems on their fuzzy shoulders and they will never falter from the pressure. Though they can’t offer us advice, they will always lend us an ear to whisper in, a paw to hold and a shoulder to lean on.

Though pets may leave a little dent in our wallets and a few spots on the oriental rug, the happiness, well-being and joy they bring to our lives are simply priceless.

Sources: http://www.doctoroz.com/blog/mehmet-oz-md/benefiting-and-your-pet