There are a lot of benefits to owning a pet

Any pet owner will tell you that living with a pet comes with many benefits, including constant companionship, love and affection.  It's also no surprise that 98 percent of pet owners consider their pet to be a member of the family.

But not only are people happier in the presence of animals, they're also healthier.

Deann Shepherd from the Humane Society of Utah joined us with a pet who's looking for its forever family!  Sir is an 8-year-old Boxer who's neutered and ready for a home!

Shepherd says pets in addition to comfort and companionship, pets also help people have a regular schedule, get exercise, get out of the house, and develop social connections.

For the elderly, owning a pet can provide purpose.  An owner needs to get up ever day to feed and care for the pet.  They need to leave the house to walk a dog, go to the veterinarian, pet store or park.

The benefits are similar for people with mental health issues.  The companionship that a pet offers is a great way to reduce anxiety and stress.

Shepherd says pets can have calming effects on their humans.  Just by stroking, sitting next to or playing with a pet can give owners a chance to relax and calm their minds.  Caring for a pet also gives your day purpose and reward, and it makes you feel needed.

Children with ADHD can benefit from working with and keeping a pet.  It has also been claimed that in the case of people with autism, animals can reduce stereotyped behavior, lesson sensory sensitivity and increase the desire and ability to connect socially with others.

To find your new best friend, please visit: utahhumane.org.

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