Adopting a pet may soon be doctor’s orders. Experts from the American Heart Association Palm Beach County have presented findings that people who adopt new pets receive health boosts from their furry friends, like lowering pandemic-related stress and increasing regular physical activity.
“Having a pet has been shown to combat stress, boost happiness and encourage healthy habits, such as regular physical activity, through walks and playtime,” says Dr. Anita Wilborn, internal medicine specialist at Tenet Florida Physician Services and board president of the American Heart Association Palm Beach County. “Staying active and reducing stress can help reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke and keep your pet healthy as well. It’s a win-win.”
That win-win is a needed health boost for individuals facing pandemic-related stress. A McKinsey COVID-19 consumer survey released in the last quarter of 2021 showed that 1 in 5 people reported lower physical wellness since the pandemic, and 1 in 3 reported lower emotional wellness.
The American Heart Association Palm Beach County is working with Peggy Adams Rescue League in West Palm Beach to help potential dog owners understand the health benefits of a new pet.
“Adopting a pet is incredibly beneficial for happiness, exercise, heart health, and companionship,” says Rich Anderson, executive director and CEO of Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League. “At Peggy Adams, on any given day, you’ll find 400 or more dogs, cats, puppies, and kittens to choose from. Adopting a homeless pet is not only rewarding, but also good for your heart.”
In 2021, more people adopted pets from Peggy Adams than ever before. In total, 6,639 animals were adopted into loving homes. Learn more about adopting a dog or cat from Peggy Adams here or visit the new Pet Adoption Center at 3200 N. Military Trail in West Palm Beach.
The American Heart Association Palm Beach County serves the residents of Palm Beach, Martin, and St. Lucie counties. Staff members, volunteers, and donors assist the organization in guiding efforts to reduce the incidences of heart disease and stroke, the first and fifth leading killers, respectively, of American men and women.