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The benefits of pet ownership is a two-way street

(NC) There's nothing like having a furry friend to change your outlook on life. Pet owners get it.

Our pets pick us up when we're down, help us relax when things get stressful, and make us laugh with all the goofy things they do. Even when they wreck the lawn, or eat a favourite shoe, we love them just the same.

“I believe that having a pet helps us lead richer, fuller lives – emotionally, psychologically, physically, and spiritually,” says veterinarian, Dr. Debbie Stoewen, who is also the care and empathy officer at Pets Plus Us. “Our pets see us for who we truly are, without judgment – and that's a powerful thing.” Pets Plus Us is a pet owner community and healthcare insurance provider focused on empowering and informing responsible pet ownership and pet health

Dr. Stoewen points out that pets aren't just good for pet owners, they're good for our communities too. “Pets are great 'community builders' and have a special way of connecting people. When someone sees you out with your pet, it's much more likely that they'll stop and talk with you.”

Here are just a few more ways this can change your life:

• Pets can help reduce stress and lower blood pressure, all good for the heart;

• Having a dog that needs a daily walk can motivate you to stay active;

• Pets can teach important life lessons to your children, like learning the responsibility of caring for other living creatures;

• In a world where technology has allowed us to become more disconnected from direct contact with others, caring for a pet reinforces our natural empathy and strengthens our emotional connection;

• Pets offer unconditional love and companionship, in a way that many human relationships can't;

• Pets can help with loneliness, especially for seniors and others who live independently.

For all the benefits we receive, it's also important for us to protect them as well, especially in the case of their medical needs. Today, the financial burden can be reduced substantially with insurance coverage – and more information on this is available at

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