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Pets and Homes and You

Posted by Johnine Larsen on April 4, 2014
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Some things were made to go together.

  • Pete Carroll, Russell Wilson, and Marshawn Lynch.
  • Macklemore, thrift shops, and Seattle.
  • The Pride Parade, George Takei, and good weather.

When those combine, everyone wins. Here’s another one: pets, homes, and you. Sharing your home with a pet leads to:


1) Improved Mood:   Pets reduce stress, lessen anxiety, and fight depression. Part of that happens because playing with an animal naturally increases levels of oxytocin, serotonin, and dopamine in your brain, calming and relaxing you chemically. In many cases, a positive interaction with an animal actually works faster than taking drugs for stress; studies show positive effects appear within 5 to 24 minutes.


2) Healthy Hearts:   Cat owners have a 30% lower risk of death by heart attack than non-cat owners. One reason: petting. Petting an animal’s fur has been repeatedly shown to reduce heart rate and blood pressure. Bottom-line, it means fewer trips to the doctor. Win!

3) Exercise!:   This one only applies for dog owners, unless you have a very exceptional guinea pig. Owning a dog means more walks and jogs. It gets you out of the house and into your neighborhood, where you build muscle, improve cardio, and get vitamin D. This also leads to:

4) Meeting Your Neighbors:   Pet owners, statistically, have more social interactions than non-pet owners. A happy dog is an automatic ice-breaker. And for the singles, it’s a great way to meet a future date.

5) Happy Kids:   Your kids will benefit from an animal in the home. Children who grow up with pets are less likely to develop allergies later in life—by a whopping 50%! Pets also lower a child’s likelihood of having eczema or asthma.

And let’s not forget what all this does for animals!

6) Loving Environment:   One lucky animal (or two or three!) gets a home with love, warmth, and regular meals. In a world where far too many people abuse animals, offering your home as a safe place can save a life. We know a few great animal adoption organizations in Seattle that will help you give a rescued animal a new life with a loving family. Our top recommendations: MEOW Cat Rescue, Pasado’s Safe Haven, and PAWS: Progressive Animal Welfare Society.



Note: Pets are not for everyone. If you don’t have enough time or resources to take care of an animal properly, you can find other ways to get these benefits. But for everyone else, why wait?


***All photos taken by PAWS; used with permission***