When I am feeling down and weary, and I can barely lift myself off the couch, my dog comes to my rescue. She cuddles with me, then motivates me to get up, dressed, and out the door for a walk or some play time. Somehow my fur-baby even gets me to smile, no matter how miserable or stressed I feel.
I am not alone. It turns out that all pets, not just therapy pets, can help your mind, body, and spirit.
Here are a dozen reasons why:
1. They get you outside: Sun and fresh air elevate your mood and the sun gives you an extra dose of vitamin D. Vitamin D exposure helps fight physical and mental conditions, including depression, cancer, obesity, and heart attacks. Also, when you go outside with your pet, you are engaging with nature. Try taking a moment to listen to the trees rustling, feel the wind rushing past, and the sun upon your face. The sounds and feeling of nature can be incredibly calming.
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