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

February 8, 2017

Scientific evidence shows that owning a pet could help ward off heart disease.

During American Heart Month, PetSmart and PetSmart Charities 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 North America February 17-19, National Adoption weekends feature the widest array of adoptable pets.

Mounting Evidence for the Heart-Protecting Power of Pets
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 (HABRI), 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.”

From dogs and cats to rabbits, chinchillas, ferrets and more, PetSmart Charities’ National Adoption Weekend invites more than 3,000 animal welfare organizations to bring a wide array of adoptable pets to nearly all 1,500-plus PetSmart stores to help match them with potential pet parents.
PetSmart Charities’ February National Adoption Weekend 

Date:                    February 17-19
Friday and Saturday:  9 a.m.-9 p.m.
Sunday: 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Location:            Nearly all 1,500-plus PetSmart stores across North America. Visit www.petsmart.com to find the store nearest you.

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