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WANT TO CHAT? Try these times! 12:30 PM ET/9:30 AM PT 6:00 PM ET/3:00 PM PT 9:00-11:00 PM ET 6:00-8:00 PM PT RICHARD`S NEXT CHAT! AUDITORIUM Monday, May 4th 2015 8:15 ET/5:15 PT

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Monday, 04 May 2015

You think I'm talking about getting cozy with the one you love for an evening of snuggling, don't you?  Awww, go ahead, it'll be good for you both!  But that's not the only kind of "petting" I'm here to talk about today, I'm talking about that PET of yours.  Turns out, as much as you love to pet your pet, Fido or Fluffy is petting you right back in ways you may not have even thought about.  I mean "petting"...your good health!  Your dog, cat, heck, even your goldfish may be just what the doctor ordered.  Yep, having a pet to care for gives you some real emotional and even physical benefits.

A quick break petting your pet can help reduce the stress in your life.
A quick break petting your pet can lift your mood by reducing the stress hormone, cortisol, in the human body.  Make time to play with your pooch, cuddle your kitty or even watch your goldfish swim.  It'll elevate the feel good hormone, dopamine, in your body, helping you to stay relaxed.
Your pet's unconditional love makes it easier for you to have reason to smile and can even help chase negative thoughts out of your mind.  Dogs, in particular, have this effect, ramping up another feel-good hormone, oxytocin, in your body.  I'm not talking about that addictive drug with a similar name, either.  Even though loving on your dog or kitty can be addictive.  (Do I ever miss my Dalmatian babies!)
Did your know that having a pet even increases your longevity by helping to lower your blood pressure and reducing your risk for heart disease?  You cat owners are one-third less likely to die from a heart attack or stroke.  (Hey, give your kitty a special heart-felt hug today!)
Strolling with your pooch can be an excellent part of your physical fitness program.
And now that the weather is warmer, you and your dogs are likely to be taking more walks together...and you should!  Strolling with your pooch can be an excellent part of your own physical fitness program, giving you and your four-legged friend the exercise you both need.  And get this, people who don't have canine companions are twice as likely to end up overweight.  Oh, my!  Another benefit of walking with your dog is that it'll help ease joint pain and stiffness in your knees, hips and ankles.  Come on Rusty, let's go for a walk!
See, all this time there you were thinking your pets were only getting benefits from you.  Well, as it turns out, those pets of yours are benefiting YOU in some very healthy ways.  So be an especially good mom or dad to your pets this week.  Because now you know, your dogs, cats or yes, even those goldfish are also petting...your good health!