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A pet is often one of our very best friends! Cats, dogs, and multiple other animals bring huge value to our lives. These cuddly animals are valued companions, extremely loyal and constantly willing to bring a smile to our faces.

A loveable pet will run to us in excitement when we come home or wander over for a warm cuddle. A horse or a cow will often lean into their owner with affection. Owning a pet not only improves lives, but also helps maintain a person’s overall health.

Exercise
Many animals enjoy and need regular walks or runs with their owner. By daily exercising, both animal and owner improve their overall physical and emotional health. Being outside and getting fresh air, as well as Vitamin D, has enormous health components.

Mood Booster
It’s a proven fact that coming home to a wagging tail brings a smile. The companionship of a loveable pet decreases depression, loneliness, and stress, which improves emotional health, as well as increasing feel-good chemicals like dopamine and serotonin in the brain.

Relaxation
Stroking your pet, whether it’s a dog or a horse, lowers a person’s blood pressure and brings calm to the body. The positive side effects of true relaxation make you healthier.

Healthy Heart
Pet have been found to decrease blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and triglyceride levels – all important health factors for our body.

Qualities for Life
For many families, a pet teaches qualities of nurture and hard work. Depending on the pet, a child learns how to take care of something other than themselves. They see the value of emptying a litter box, feeding their baby pigs, or grooming their dog or horse. Pets aren’t always easy and do require effort and love, but the qualities learned transform into other situations through life.

In the Iowa Great Lakes Area, there are multiple avenues to add a loveable pet to your life. Whether it’s through the Dickinson County Humane Society or a local pet owner, visit with a local veterinarian for best practices for taking care of your pet. Enjoy the Dickinson County Trails system and other areas in our county for a walk or a run with your favorite animal. Many residents in our area love the Lakes Area Dog Park, loving the ability to watch their dog exercise but also the socialization aspect of meeting new people in our community. The Dickinson County Extension Office and local 4-H clubs have resources and guidance for families who are interested in cattle, pigs, goats, chickens, and horses.

Pets love us and we love our pets back! Pets easily become a part of our families and always remain close to our hearts.

Lake Life Okoboji can’t wait to see your loveable pets. Send us pictures of your pet and you (or your pet reading Lake Life Okoboji) at lakelifeokoboji@gmail.com or on our Lake Life Okoboji Facebook page.

There are also many different websites that provide pet friendly information. Check out bringfido.com/attraction/city/okoboji_ia_us to find local restaurants and hotels that allow pets.

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