SPENDING TIME WITH A PET CAN BOOST YOUR MOOD AND EASE YOUR PAIN.
When Dylan Kuncken, 17, of Byram Township, New Jersey, was diagnosed with juvenile idiopathic arthritis four years ago, he just wanted to be alone in his room. Smokey, his Labrador retriever, would nudge the door open and curl up by him.
“The dog could tell he wasn’t feeling well and he needed a buddy, and would make him feel better,” says Dylan’s mother, Cathy.
If you’re a pet lover, you know that spending time with a beloved cat, dog, rabbit or other pet can lift your mood, but science shows it has real physical and mental health benefits, too. Studies show that spending as little as five or 10 minutes with a pet can help lower stress and anxiety, relieve loneliness and reduce pain and depression.
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