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Sunday 17 December 2017
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What She Said! with Christine Bentley & Kate Wheeler

Adopting a Pet During Heart Month Won’t Just Warm Your Heart, It Could Help to Protect It

Carrie Trembinski talks PetSmart Charities of Canada’s National Adoption Weekend on What She Said.

It’s well known that adopting a new pet and saving a life will warm the heart, but now scientific evidence is showing that owning a pet could help ward off heart disease, too.

Just in time for National Heart MonthPetSmart and PetSmart Charities of Canada are celebrating the heart-warming and heart-protecting reasons to adopt a pet during their first National Adoption Weekend event of the year. Taking place in nearly every PetSmart store across Canada Feb. 17 – 19, National Adoption Weekends feature the widest array of adoptable pets and there’s no shortage of great reasons to bring one home.

According to the American Heart Association (AHA), owning a pet could help protect you from heart disease.  A scientific statement issued in 2013 by the leading cardiac health organization notes, “numerous studies have explored the relationship between pet (primarily dog or cat) ownership and cardiovascular disease, with many reporting beneficial effects.” Just a few of the heart-health benefits seen in pet parents are increased physical activity, lower cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure and even improved survival rates following a cardiac event.

Data from the Human Animal Bond Research Institute, a non-profit organization dedicated to gathering, funding and sharing research on positive health impacts of companion animals, further supports the healing power of pets.  In a 2014 survey of 1,000 physicians, HABRI found that 60 percent of doctors have recommended getting a pet as part of a patient’s treatment plan, while 88 percent reported that they’ve seen a patient’s physical condition improve as a result of human-animal interaction.

“It’s reasonably well understood that adopting a pet quite literally saves a companion animal’s life, but it’s a lesser known fact that pets can have a tremendous impact on the health and well-being of pet parents,” said David Haworth, DVM, Ph.D., the chair of HABRI’s research working group and president of PetSmart Charities.  “Through a growing body of scientific research, we know that pet ownership can not only warm our heart, but its cardiovascular benefits can also help to protect it. During American Heart Month and our first National Adoption Weekend of the year, we are giving potential pet parents even more compelling reasons to consider adopting a pet.”

If you’ve been thinking of adding a new pet to your family, this Family Day weekend drop into your local PetSmart store, where lots of adorable, adoptable pets from local animal welfare organizations are looking for their forever home. Since 1999, PetSmart Charities of Canada, in partnership with PetSmart stores and more than 300 animal welfare organizations, has helped to find forever homes for more than 225,000 pets. For more information visit www.petsmartcharities.ca




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