pet with owners

October is Adopt-A-Dog Month!

Adopt-a-Dog Month has been observed every October since 1981 in an effort to help the estimated 3-4 million animals waiting in shelters each year to find the loving, forever homes that they deserve. Pet adoption is not only more affordable than purchasing a dog from a breeder or pet store, but it’s an amazing way to give an animal a new beginning.  Often pet’s find themselves at shelters due to the death or illness of their owner, a change in the domestic situation, such as a divorce or separation or a housing or financial crisis. So many of these dogs (and cats) are already housetrained, updated on their vaccinations, good with kids, and do well with other pets.

Your local shelter may be the perfect place to find dogs of every breed, size, age and personality — all waiting for their loving, permanent home.

At a time when 65% of Americans between the ages of 18-34 admit to struggling with their mental health, we could not think of a more appropriate time to remind our readers of just some of the health benefits of animal companionship.

Studies have shown that the bond between people and their pets can increase fitness, lower stress, and bring happiness to their owners.  Animal companionship can introduce opportunities for exercise, fresh air and socialization.  Pets can help manage feelings of anxiety, stress, loneliness, or depression by providing us with a sense of purpose, routine and unconditional, non-judgmental companionship.

Some additional health benefits of having a pet include:

  • Caring for an animal can help children grow up more responsible, secure and active.
  • Increased levels of oxytocin, a hormone linked to positive emotional health outcomes.
  • Decreased feelings of isolation, anxiety, and loneliness.
  • Improved cardiovascular health including decreased blood pressure & cholesterol.
  • Having a dog during childhood may protect against the development of Schizophrenia later in life.

Need more convincing? Check out these fun resources from our friends at the Connecticut Humane Society and Adopt A Pet.