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The Health Benefits of Pet Ownership

Spotlight: Pets and Health

There is no question that our pets help to bring an incredible sense of support and comfort when we are feeling bad both physically and emotionally. The unconditional love they provide can help to improve our overall quality of life. In fact, some dogs have the ability to sense some of the early signs and symptoms of a migraine attack which can lead to more effectively and quickly taking preventative medication.

However, it is not all about whether or not they can “sniff” out an attack, but for anyone living with a chronic health condition like migraine, the companionship they provide both during and outside the time of an attack, is like no other. Therefore, to acknowledge our furry friends for the wonderful health benefits they provide and the important distraction they provide from the pain, we are highlighting them by having a #LoveYourPet celebration all this month!

Pets and health

How can YOU join in?

Throughout the month we will be sharing various articles, a special giveaway and opportunities for you share photos!

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Forum conversations

Have a special #LoveYourPet topic you’d like to discuss or a question you’d like to ask? Join in on this conversation in our forums and share it with us! #LoveYourPet Celebration!


What does your pet mean to you? How has your animal helped to provide you with comfort? Share your own personal #LoveYourPet story with us. Share your story


Pets and health

Learn more as our contributors highlight the importance of animals to our health.

Pet Therapy and the Healing Power of Pets
By Rebecca—February 5, 2017
As someone who has dealt with migraines throughout my life, one of my biggest triggers is stress. My pets provide me an endless supply of emotional support and comfort which help me reduce stress. As a result….READ MORE

Ode to my cat, Satchel
The Migraine Girl—August 20, 2015
I know, I know. You have a cat, or a dog, or a ferret, or a rat, and you firmly believe that YOUR pet is the greatest. I applaud this. I hope all of us animal lovers can staunchly assert that our own pets are the best pets ever….READ MORE

Got A Migraine? Get A Dog!
By Dr Marcus—December 25, 2010
Doctors tell their patients all kinds of crazy advice about how to improve their migraines. And I’m sure over the years my patients have thought some of my advice was a bit off the wall. But when I started investigating the benefits of dogs… READ MORE

Take Two Aspirin and Pet Fido In The Morning
By Dr Marcus—January 13, 2012
Therapy dogs have been trained to be quiet, calm, and soothing. Therapy dogs undergo extensive training and testing before they can be certified for therapy work. Typical therapy dog work involves the dog standing by or sitting with a patient… READ MORE


  • Tamara
    3 years ago

    I had a horrible time trying to adjust to dropping my hours down to part time because I had to drop so many activities I enjoyed. I felt horrible because I went from someone who was always there to help out to someone who couldn’t even plan two days ahead because I don’t know if I’m going to be bed bound or not.

    One thine that actually has made a HUGE difference is I started fostering dogs. I already have two cats and 4 degus (rodents related to chinchillas) that make me laugh but I wanted more cuddles then they were willing to give most days. I felt useless and a drain on society.

    With being home more often I have the time to offer the dogs and it doesn’t matter if we work on training at 8am, noon or 8pm – there is no time frame. The dogs all happy all the time and it’s a constant pat on the back when you see them go from frightened and skinny to a well rounded dog in their new home.

    Although I did learn with my last ones I had for a month over Christmas …… a high energy momma dog with no training/inside knowledge of a house AND her 2 8 week old puppies was too much to handle at once. It actually did over tax me and may have contributed to my worsening migraines for the last bit.

    It also is forcing me to exercise everyday (I don’t have a yard for potty breaks so there ar many walks around the block) and talk to people which is helping keep the depression at bay. People always want to stop and say hi when you have a dog. I also get updates from the new homes and get to continue to see my “kids” flourish :D. That is the best feeling!

    So yes pets are awesome and even if you can’t have them in your house, find a shelter or rescue that needs volunteers – we have people that just come and walk the dogs …. I went in to cuddle cats as a teenager at the local humane society. There are lots of options.

  • Joanna Bodner moderator
    3 years ago

    Hi there Tamara,
    Absolutely great points! There are so many ways to incorporate positive interaction with animals! I am however, so sorry to hear how much migraine has altered many of the traits which you have prided yourself once on, but major kudos to you for finding a motivating outlet like these animals to give you a new perspective! Reading this just made me feel so happy and you should feel proud for the hard work and dedication it takes taking on these foster dogs. Thank you so much for sharing this with the community! -Joanna ( Team)

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