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​Good reasons to open your home and heart to a pet

​It's national pet month, and there's a good chance you've run across an adoption event over the past few weeks. Those cute little fur-babies are so tempting—perhaps it's time to give in.

You already know that pets offer wonderful emotional benefits, but did you know that they can provide physical benefits as well?

In addition to unconditional love and companionship, a pet can be just the motivation you need to take better care of yourself or get more exercise. They can make a big difference in your stress levels and mood. And, if you're walking a dog every day, there may be social benefits as well.1,2

According to the CDC, having a pet can help bring down your blood pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride levels.3 You might be surprised to hear that according to an American Heart Association study, cats can have an even greater impact on reducing cardiovascular risk than dogs (although both types of pets reduce risk compared to living pet-free).4

If you live alone, you may be thinking, "I'm the only one here to take care of a pet." But the reality is, as someone with diabetes, you're probably the most organized person you know. So you'd be the one providing care even if there were others to share the load. Still, that can be a good reason to get an older pet that's already house trained.

Bottom line—unless allergies, rental rules, or memory or mobility problems prohibit owning a pet, it may be time to start thinking about names. We like Wonton.

1Harvard Health Publications. The health benefits and risks of pet ownership. Available at: http://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/the-health-benefits-and-ri.... Accessed April 29, 2017.

2Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Cats. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/healthypets/pets/cats.html. Accessed April 29, 2017.

3Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Health benefits of pets. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/healthypets/health-benefits/index.html. Accessed April 29, 2017.

4Ogechi I, Snook K, Davis BM, et. al. Pet ownership and the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease among adults without major chronic medical conditions. High Blood Press Cardiovasc Prev. 2016;23:245. Available at: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s40292-016-0156-1. Accessed April 29, 2017.

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