Want To Cut Down On Medical Bills? Adopt a Pet

I’ve always had dogs that I walk frequently and run. They keep me in good shape, while supporting my emotional and physical well-being. Until reading some recent research, I hadn’t made the correlation between my dogs and my very infrequent doctor’s visits.

According to recent research by The The Human-Animal Bond Research Initiative (HABRI), pet ownership saves 11.7 billion dollars in health care costs annually. 132.8 million pet owners visit a doctor 0.6 times less than the average non-pet owner. This results in a savings of 11.37 billion dollars. In addition, over 20 million dog owners who walk their dog five or more times a week show a lower incidence of obesity.

We already know pets in our households result in lower stress levels, improved cardiovascular health, enhanced sense of well-being and reduced allergic sensitivities. So this is no surprise that Buster and Kitty are good for us. However, this is the first study looking at the monetary impact on the U.S. healthcare system, according to Terry L. Clower PhD, co-author of the study and Professor of Public Policy at the Virginiaís George Mason University.

And these numbers may be conservative. Due to a lack of data, there are additional health care savings associated with pet ownership that aren’t included in these findings. And, no matter how high the number gets, can we really put an accurate dollar amount on the health benefits of pets? After all, pet parents know they are truly priceless.

Will we soon see health insurance companies adding “getting a pet” to their wellness incentives? Maybe. And, don’t be surprised if the next time you go to the doctor, she writes you up a prescription for adopting a pet at your local shelter.

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Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus1 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Lenore Kudaka
Lenore K1 years ago


Virginia Belder
Virginia Belder2 years ago


Danielle I.
Danielle I2 years ago

Totally agree, however not all rescue dogs are stable enough to be walked in public. I have one of those dogs, but Thanks to following Cesar Millans teachings we can now enjoy our daily walks with my other dogs. It took a lot of time, love & patience but it worked! A dog I was recommended by 'experts' to euthanize! Happily looking forward to many great years ahead with my calm beautiful boy :)

chris b.
chris B2 years ago

Lower incident of obesity for both human and dog.

Kelly R.
Kelly R2 years ago

Adopting dogs was one of the best things I've done! I had a treadmill at my mum's and I wasn't using it. The dogs need to be walked daily!

Mona M.
Mona M2 years ago

Thank you, a connection with animals is a connection with Life and having that connection with Real Life prevents people to be alienated.

Veronica Danie
.2 years ago

Thanks so much

Melania Padilla
Melania Padilla2 years ago

So agree!

scarlett g.
.2 years ago

AMEN!! and then some!! GREAT ADVICE for humans & Animals in need of love,care & homes!!!