Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Today - February 20th is National Love Your Pet Day

Break out the treats.  Head to the pet store.   Visit the local shelter.  Today is National Love Your Pet Day.   The purpose of this holiday is to encourage pet owners to spend some time with their pets and show them the love and affection they deserve.  Dogs, cats, turtles, lizards, fish; it doesn’t matter.  It’s the day to show them just how much they mean to you.

No one knows exactly when it started but according to our research, wide-scale celebration began in the early 2000s. 

The stats will surprise you

In 2017, U.S pet owners spent almost $70 billion dollars worth of products for their pets (American Pet Products Association).  Compare that to the $41 billion spent in 2007. Want to know more about the pet industry in the United States? Then check out the following pet statistics:

Number of Households That Own a Pet (By Type. In Millions)
Dogs:     60
Cats:      47
Fish:       14.2
Birds:     8.0
Reptile: 4.7
Horses: 2.6

Number of Animals Owned in U.S (In Millions)
Fish:       158.8
Cats:      94
Dogs:     90
Birds:     20.4
Reptiles: 9.4
Horses: 7.7

The benefits will blow you away

Strengthen a child’s immune system  ̶ Studies have shown that children who live in homes with pets miss less school due to sickness than children who grow up in pet-free homes.

Lessen the chance of developing allergies Contrary to outdated myth, children in households with pets are reported to have fewer allergies.  Nowadays, several studies have shown that children in pet-friendly households lower the chances of developing related allergies by as much as 33% (National Institute of Health). You’ll want to introduce the kids to the animals as soon as possible.  If a person has already developed an allergy, the allergy can’t be reversed. 

Heart health—Another benefit to owning a pet may be improved heart health.  Studies have shown that owning a pet can lower blood pressure, triglyceride and cholesterol levels; all are contributors to the risk of heart attack

Overall fitness—This one’s so obvious.  You walk your dog 3X daily; you walk off excess weight and boost your metabolism.  The pooch is happy and you get healthy.  Win-Win! 

Don’t worry; be happy—Yes, they can be expensive.  Certainly they can be a pain in the neck.  In spite of it all, pets have been shown to turn a bad day into a beautiful one.  That’s why their presence in hospitals, nursing homes and long-term care facilities is ever-rising.   

Make new friends, keep the old—Pets are instant icebreakers; people are just more willing to stop and chat when they see a person out with their pet.  And you’d be amazed by how often friends stop by for pet play dates.  Just one more reason to make a dog, cat, reptile or bird a part of the family. 

Celebrating National Love Your Pet Day

Stop by your local pet adoption center.  Volunteer, foster or adopt.  Animals provide love and companionship each and every day.  February 20th is your chance to return the favor. 

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