Health Benefits of Pets

Pets are good for our emotional and physical health

Are you thinking of adding a pet to your family?  Recent research by M Becker, the author of “The Healing Power of Pets,” includes the following interesting findings regarding the effect pets have on our daily lives:

Children and pets:

  • Children who help raise animals score higher in empathy, nurturing, cognitive development, IQ scores, and reading scores, social development and motor skills than children who do not help raise animals.
  • Children 3-6 years old report that 61% of the dreams feature animals
  • Children reading a book experience their blood pressure going down after an animal has entered the room, even without the child knowing the animal was there.

Seniors and pets:

  • Seniors with pets have fewer doctor’s visits: 50% fewer minor medical problems within 1 month of acquiring a pet
  • Seniors who own cats or dogs are more physically active longer in life
  • Senior pet owners walk longer distances than non-owners, and have lower triglycerides
  • Seniors with pets report less dissatisfaction with their social, physical and emotional state
  • Senior non-dog owners talked primarily about the past, dog-owners about the present

If you or someone in your family is considering getting a pet please think of us a resource for advice on what type of pet might be the right fit.  Please keep in mind, there are many pets in need of a home at our local animal shelters.


You can visit them online at:

PenBay Veterinary Associates is Midcoast Maine’s only veterinary practice accredited by the American Animal Hospital Association.  Our mission is to enhance the human-animal bond by offering exceptional service, education, and care to help our clients provide a safe and healthy lifestyle for their pets.  Services include: laser surgery, on-site bloodwork, ultrasound, echocardiograms, video otoscopy, ultrasonic dentistry, x-ray, health wellness exams, skin and allergy care, emergency services, and medical and day boarding.  We are conveniently located on Route 1 in Rockport between Yankee Clipper and Plants Unlimited.  For more information visit or call 594-8300.


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