It’s no secret that pet owners and people that with animals on a regular basis experience a number of health benefits. The Center for Disease Control confirms that healthy pets equal healthy people. Our goal for 2019 is to bring good health to our human and animal friends by sharing the wellness benefits associated with the human animal bond. Here are just a few ways that animals can improve your overall physical and mental well-being and get you on track to a healthier and happier New Year.

  • Pet Ownership Improves Heart Health. The CDC notes on their website that pet owners have shown decreased blood pressure, decreased cholesterol levels, and decreased triglyceride levels. Decreasing blood pressure and cholesterol levels can improve heart health and decrease your risk of stroke.
  1. Increased Exercise and Physical Activity. There are few things more motivating to get out and take a walk or run than a furry friend happily wagging their tail as they stand by the door. Ready to go for that morning “W-A-L-K”. Owning a dog is sure to help you get out and get your steps in, but fear not you don’t have to be a dog owner to find a four-legged walking buddy. Members of the public are welcome to come walk a dog at Animal Ark Rescue. Participants must be 18yrs or older (or accompanied by parent or guardian) with photo I.D.

You can also help raise money for our shelter dogs by downloading the “Walk for a Dog” app powered by Wooftrax https://www.wooftrax.com/ and Select Animal Ark Rescue as your shelter of choice. You can use the Wooftrax app at home or at the shelter and help save animals while getting in shape!

  1. Decreased Stress. Interacting with animals can lower your cortisol levels.  Cortisol is known as the stress hormone. Petting a dog or cat causes an immediate endorphin (feel good hormones) release. Can you imagine feeling stressed out while cuddling a comfy kitten or getting kisses scented with puppy breath? Spending just a few minutes of quality time with your pet or our shelter animals is a great way to de-stress from your hectic day. Stop by the shelter anytime during business hours for FREE kisses and cuddles!

  1. Decreased Loneliness and Increased Socialization. Owning a pet or interacting with animals can decrease feelings of loneliness and isolation. Animals make wonderful company and they are excellent listeners. Looking to connect with people? Owning a pet is a great way to meet new people with similar interests, like a love of animals! New in town and looking to meet new people? Join us on one of our monthly dog hikes! Participants must be 18yrs or older (16 and up if accompanied by parent or guardian) with valid photo ID and must be able to transport one dog to hiking location and back to the shelter. Learn more at: https://animalarkrescue.com/dog-outings/

We also have an Animal Ark Rescue weeknight dog walking club coming soon. Stay tuned for more updates!

  1. Increased Mindfulness. Nothing forces you to focus on the here and now like a sweet furball begging for your attention. Animals have a great way of helping us appreciate life and live in the moment. Adopting, fostering, or volunteering with shelter animals creates a true appreciation for the strength and resilience of these kind creatures. Animals inspire us to know that love has the power to heal. They come from some of the most unimaginable situations. They amaze us with their ability to overcome cruelty, neglect, and hate, while still preserving a love for mankind. Animals are living proof that love does indeed conquer all.