Not that you needed an excuse, but give your pet some extra attention today because it’s National Love Your Pet Day.
Nationally, it’s estimated that 53 percent of all households own at least one pet.
Do you know which pets are the most popular? If you guess cats or dogs, you’re wrong. Surprisingly, freshwater pet fish far outnumber them.
According to a survey conducted by the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association, people in the U.S. own:
- 142 million freshwater fish
- 3 million cats
- 8 million dogs
- 3 million small animals
- 16 million birds
- 8 million horses
- 4 million reptiles
- 6 million saltwater fish
All those pets can be a boon to your health. The National Center for Health Research said in an article that companion animals may improve heart health by lowering your blood pressure and regulating your heart rate during stressful situations.
In older folks, those who owned pets were better able to perform activities important in daily living like preparing meals, bathing oneself, taking medication, bending, kneeling, stooping and climbing stairs. It seems that being a caretaker to a pet gives older people a sense of responsibility and purpose that contributes to overall well-being.
Younger family members also benefit from having pets. Pets provide comfort, teach responsibility, help with learning and encourage nurturing.
So, give your pet some extra love today and be sure you have them examined regularly by a licensed veterinarian. You can check a veterinarian’s license by going to the Veterinary Medical Board website at www.vmb.ca.gov.