The Key to Good Health – Owning a Pet

A few weeks ago, a stray dog wandered in to my sister’s barn. You may remember from this post or this picture, that my sister trains horses and riders for the equestrian sport of eventing. She spends the winter months in Ocala, Florida where there are a lot of stray animals roaming around. This cute pup decided he wanted to live in her barn and Jess, having a soft spot for animals was not about to turn him away.

Cute Stray Pup

However, she already owns two dogs and is not looking for another one. I, on the other hand would LOVE to have a dog and after she texted me his picture I knew he needed to come live in Virginia. So, earlier this week I made a quick trip to pick him up. He is scared of most things and was timid of me at first, but now we are buds! So everyone, be prepared…there may be quite a few pictures of this cute guy (who I named Oakley) showing up here from time to time!

Not only will I love having a running, hiking, and snuggling buddy but research has shown there are numerous health benefits associated with pet ownership. From decreased cortisol (the stress hormone) levels, a lower risk of cardiac disease, and decreased rates of depression, to better physical activity habits – and more – pets truly have the ability to help us lead happier and healthier lives. Check out this Slide show on WebMD about 27 Ways Pets Can Improve Your Life to learn more!

Are you a pet owner? What kind of animal(s) do you have? What ways do they improve your life?

20 thoughts on “The Key to Good Health – Owning a Pet

  1. teri@managedmacros says:

    SO FUN!!!!! He is precious!!! I love him and I don’t know him! :) aaarf!
    I have 2 cats from the rescue…Stan and Clove and I love them SO MUCH. They are so fun! I do want a dog though too!!!
    Have fun with the pup! Look forward to more pics of him!!!

  2. Allison @ PickyEatingRD says:

    OMG so cute! I want a dog so so so bad but E and I travel way to much right now. We also live in a very small apartment that wouldn’t be enough room to house the dog that we want. So cute I can’t wait for you to post lots of pics!

  3. EA Stewart says:

    What a sweetie! You are both lucky to have found each other :-) I have had pets all my life, and so true about the health benefits. Right now we have Harry the Labradoodle who is just a super sweet BIG dog who thinks he’s a la dog! We also have 2 guinea pigs, Lance and Lily, and, recently, an outdoor cat, Buttercup. She is an older stray. I am allergic, so can’t keep her in the house, but we have given her a house, litter box, and food in our backyard and she is quite content. Enjoy your new furry friend!

    • Tanya says:

      It seems the big ones always think they are the size of a toy poodle and should be able to sit in your lap all the time – on the couch, while driving, etc!

  4. eatingRD says:

    awww how sweet! We have a basset named Lucky that we adopted from the basset rescue. He is quite the character and great to have around :) love animals because they are always so happy, have fun!

  5. Samantha says:

    This is such a great story! I am glad you wanted to show him off on Chocolate-Covered Katie. :)

    I love stories like this in which a dog in need finds the right person in need. Enjoy getting to know each other. Looks like he is going to be a great pal.

  6. Jess says:

    This guy looks like a total sweetheart :) Do you have any idea of his age?
    We have four cats and a very skittish coon hound, a rescue dog from Tennessee. While they definitely require a little extra TLC (coon hounds are notoriously energetic and require daily walks just to keep from bursting) they’re definitely worthwhile for the companionship.

    • Tanya says:

      The vet my sister 1st took him too estimated him to be about 6 months in February, but last week his vet here estimated he is closer to 9 months. Probably seemed younger at first because he was so malnourished and thin, but now that he is on a regular diet he has filled out a bit and experienced some “catch up” growth!

      Love that you have a rescue. All of my pets have been rescues throughout my life and they are the best! :-)

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