Choosing a family pet

Pets aren’t just for kids. Owning a pet can improve your family’s health in many ways, according to the Centers for Disease and Prevention (CDC). Pets can lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and offer companionship to all members of your household. Before you choose one, think about these factors.

 

All pets need daily care. They need attention, food, and a place to sleep. Dogs need to be walked and taken outside daily. Cats need a clean litter box. Veterinary visits and vaccines are important. Look into the pet you want, and make sure you’re ready to do everything it takes to keep the pet healthy. It’s a daily commitment that you’ll need to stick with for many years.

 

Make sure everyone in the family is ready. Caring for a pet is best done with everyone’s help. Are your kids ready to help feed a dog and walk it? Are the parents ready for veterinary costs, cleaning up after the pet, and arranging for pet care during vacations?

 

With certain reptiles, small animals and birds, proper hygiene is very important. Some pets, such as birds, reptiles and amphibians, can spread illness to humans. Visit www.cdc.gov/healthypets for information about preventing illness.

 

As long as you carefully consider all the care your pet will need, you can make an informed choice about your next furry friend.

 

Source: American Humane Association

 

 

A heart for dogs

One study looked at 421 adults who’d had heart attacks. A year later, dog owners were much more likely to still be alive than were those who did not own dogs, regardless of the severity of the heart attack.

 

Source: National Institutes of Health

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