With Thanksgiving almost here, many of us are reflecting on all we have to be thankful for this holiday season. For many pet owners, the love and companionship our pets provide ranks high in what we are thankful for. Appreciation of your dog or cat can make for a pet-friendly Thanksgiving.

The physical, psychological and social benefits of pet ownership are tremendous and provide us with a lot to be thankful for. Here are just a few example of how pets help up all year long:

Physical Benefits of Pet Ownership

The most obvious reason why pets can benefit our physical health is that they get us up and moving, whether we like it or not. Dogs are the best example of this. Woe is the dog (and dog owner) that doesn’t get out to play. Most of the time, they need us to play with them. Whether it’s getting out for a quick walk around the block, a trip to the dog park, exercising your arm in an unending game of fetch, or a long hike through the hills, dogs get us up and moving, as well as our blood moving, nearly every day.

Psychological and Emotional Benefits of Pet Ownership

For many pet owners, the psychological and emotional benefits of pet ownership are reason enough to give thanks. The unconditional love and companionship they infuse into our daily lives is tremendous. Here are a few examples:

  • Pets make us laugh. Their crazy antics and strange habits usually leave us smiling, if not laughing out loud.
  • Pets are always happy to welcome us home, and who doesn’t like someone to come home to?
  • Pets love us unconditionally, even when we might not love ourselves that much.
  • Pets often know when we need a little extra love and give it without hesitation or having to be asked.
  • Pets remind us when it’s time to stop working, more often than not by laying on our keyboards.

There’s also something to be said for the simple joy of petting your pet, too. Forget the foamy stress balls you find at the mall, simply sitting with your pet and running your fingers through his or her fur while while your pet purrs or breathes has an uncanny way of melting the stress of the day away.

Social Benefits of Pet Ownership

Pet’s can help us socially, as well as physically and emotionally. It’s hard not to get to know your neighbors and community when you have a pet to walk every day. And most singles will agree that one of the best ways to meet someone new is to take your dog to the park or out for a night on the town–then see who comes up to say hi.

Dogs especially can help to protect our homes, serving as an effective deterrent against potential intruders. Likewise, walking with a pet can help pet owners feel safer about walking alone.

We have no doubt that your pet gives you plenty to be thankful for all year long. We hope that, during this season of giving thanks, you will take the time to consider why you are thankful for your pet. Those of us at Union Lake Pet Services wish both you and yours a safe and happy Thanksgiving.