Pets and Why We Love Them

My husband, Bob, and I have been married for almost 33 years, and we completely agree on who is in charge at our house – the dogs.

We have two dachshunds, Cooper and Wally, and a Yorkshire terrier named Boo. All three are rescues who for some reason we’re not working out in their previous homes. They have individual cushioned crates, an orthopedic bed next to the fireplace for naps and each has a handmade collar. Between them, they have knocked holes in three screen doors, put a permanent sway in the back of the couch, and kept us from sleeping past 7 a.m. for more than a decade.

We adore them. And it turns out, they are probably helping us live longer.

According to the CDC, having a pet can add years to your life and a lot of happiness in those added years.

Nobody in our house can lie in bed all day. Everybody has to get up when the pups get up. Try sleeping in and a furry body and a cold nose will land on you. And you will play with them, give snuggles and hugs or they will climb on top of you until you do. 

Walking the dog will elevate you to hero status in our pups’ eyes, and it also helps us stay in shape.

Physical Benefits of Having a Pet

Having a pet can help lower blood pressure, decrease cholesterol and triglycerides, get you outside and increase your chances for socialization. Even the grumpy neighbors smile when they see the two wiener dogs and the fluff ball going for a walk.

And if you really want to burn some calories, just try giving a Yorkshire terrier a bath. Our Boo only weighs 7 pounds, but I’m pretty sure I burn off at least a couple just trying to wrangle him into the bathtub.

Of course, you have to be a responsible pet parent, cleaning up after him, washing your hands after cleaning up after him, and after playing with him.

And young children should be supervised around even the sweetest pets. Our boys are spoiled and generally good-natured, but even patient pups will snap if you push them too far. (FYI: So will humans.)

Older folks and people with weakened immune systems should talk to their veterinarians before getting a new pet.

We may have rescued our pups, but we could not imagine our home without them. We love our pets!

By Amanda Rogers for Surepoint Medical Centers

Amanda Rogers is a freelance writer based in Fort Worth, Texas

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