The Petember charity challenge is encouraging pet owners to spend more time with their pets to improve the lives of their pets, family, and themselves.

The challenge, held by children’s charity Variety, encourages owners to dedicate time with their pets to help benefit them mentally, physically, and emotionally.

Mandy Burns, CEO of Variety, said being a pet-friendly workplace, they can see the stress-bursting power of their pets every day.

“You can only imagine then the absolutely life-changing benefits assistance dogs have for kids living with Autism and anxiety – they calm, they bring confidence, they bring independence – and for kids living with epilepsy specially trained seizure alert dogs literally save lives. We encourage everyone to get involved in Petember, spend some quality time with their pets, reap the benefits and change the lives of kids in need!”

Studies have shown that spending just 15-30 minutes time with our pets can decrease levels of cortisol (a stress-related hormone) and lower blood pressure, while it’s also been shown that pets can reduce loneliness and increase feelings of social support.

Dr Nicole Laing, Veterinarian and Lecturer in Primary Care at Murdoch University, said pets who are not active or engaged have an increased risk of depression and a decreased overall quality of life.

“Games, activities and extra time keeps our pets fit, stimulates their mind and increases their overall bond with their owners.”

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