Looking for more ways to increase your family’s time spent being active? Look no further than your family pet!
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, nearly 40% of households have a dog and over 30% of households own at least one cat. These animals bring joy to families by being fun and furry, but they can also help with your health!
If you or a family member is suffering from high blood pressure, in addition to recommendations or medications prescribed by their doctor, petting a cat or dog can help lower blood pressure and reduce anxiety and stress.
Having a pet also means that they need their exercise, too! Daily activity for a pet makes sure they don’t become bored, frustrated, or unhealthy. Most dogs need between 30 minutes – 2 hours of activity a day – just like humans! So, when out for your dog’s daily walk or playing fetch in a local park, bring along the whole family.
Cats need exercise, too! While they are not as active as dogs, they still need at least 45 minutes of physical activity throughout the day. If your family has a cat, making up a game with the various toys that the cat likes to play with that encourage you and your children to also jump, run, and hide like cats do, will make it fun for the whole family!
 American Veterinary Medical Association. US Pet Ownership Statistics. https://www.avma.org/KB/Resources/Statistics/Pages/Market-research-statistics-US-pet-ownership.aspx
 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Health Benefits of Pets. https://www.cdc.gov/healthypets/health-benefits/
 PetMD. Exercising with your dog 101. http://www.petmd.com/dog/wellness/evr_dg_exercising_with_your_dog101
 PetMD. How to exercise and play with a cat. http://www.petmd.com/cat/wellness/evr_ct_exercising_with_your_cat_a_how_to_guide
Photo courtesy of Advocacy for Animals.