We love our pets: let’s celebrate our furry, feathered and scaly friends!

Jane Minton's cat and dog

It’s National Love Your Pet Day – and there are some very good reasons why you might, too.

Jane Minton's cat and dog

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After some weeks of worry about one of my cats – she went missing for a few days and came back with a fractured foot and a bad infection –  I’m only too aware how attached I am to the animals in my life.

Since I started to work from home I’ve also come to appreciate my furry-faced work colleagues for their unspoken support.

The cats can often be found cheering me on from the in tray or reclining on the keyboard enticing me to relax and give them some strokes, while the dogs encourage me to take a break from the computer and get outside for a breather.

And it’s not just home workers who benefit from having animals around

Research carried out a couple of years ago in the US showed that having dogs in the workplace reduced employee stress and there are an increasing number of companies in the UK who welcome pets of all varieties in to their offices.

Jane Minton's cats

Jane’s cats

The power of pets to help our overall wellbeing is also widely documented. Having dogs and cats around lowers our blood pressure and raises the levels of serotonin and dopamine in our brains, making us more relaxed.

Pet owners generally have lower risk of heart disease and owning an animal reduces the effects of depression and other mental health issues such as post- traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), partly due to the caring responsibilities that are involved.

And if you’re a dog owner you’ll know how often people will stop and talk to you and your dog, which helps build social connections.

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Owning a pet can make a huge difference to our health as we grow older, too

Jane Minton's dogs

Jane’s dogs

A pet in the home keeps us active, helps maintain social networks and gives us a sense of caring for another living thing that also cares for us, reducing a sense of loneliness.

Research at the University of California concluded that Alzheimer’s patients suffer less stress and have fewer anxious outbursts if there is a dog or cat in the home.

I’m so glad we adopted our two dogs and two more cats while we lived in Italy. They now travel with us between Britain and France – it’s not always easy to manage the logistics and pet passport requirements but they are such a joy that I can’t imagine an alternative!

So let’s celebrate our pets, whatever sort of animal they are, furry or otherwise!

About Jane Minton

I know what it’s like to be teetering on the brink of change in my 40s and wondering about whether to take that big leap or not, and I want to share the things I’ve learnt with you. So if you're aching for new adventures in midlife or want some help to find your focus I’ll be your champion and biggest fan along the way. I'm a coach and NLP practitioner and I divide my time between the UK and France, working with women wherever they are. I'm passionate about supporting clients to discover all that they can be if they have the support to step into the unknown and create their awesome futures.