Media Release

The Health Benefits of Pet Ownership

Monday, January 6, 2014 2:15 PM
adoptable dog

ALACHUA COUNTY, FL - Alachua County Animal Services wants to remind residents of the important role pets can play in the health and well-being of pet owners.

Benefits of pet ownership include:   

·        Dog walking:  This low-intensity exercise can help prevent heart disease.

·        Petting animals:  The act of petting can relax and reduce stress levels.

·        Companionship:  Pets provide companionship to those who live alone.

·        Socialization:  Studies show that it’s easier for dog owners to meet people.

·        Mood Booster:  Pet ownership can boost self-esteem and self-worth.

·        Increased Longevity:  Pet owners live happier, healthier and longer lives.

·        Fewer Allergies:  An infant exposed to a pet could mean the child is less likely to develop allergies later on in life.

·        Combat ADHD:  Pets can teach children with ADHD to create a schedule and plan ahead. 

·        Combat Diabetes:  Some dogs can pick up on the scent of chemical changes that the human body experiences, like a drop in blood sugar, and alert the owner.

·        Provide a healthy heart:  Owning a pet can keep blood pressure in check, lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of cardiac disease and heart failure.  

Pets are available for adoption at the Alachua County Animal Services Headquarters (3400 NE 53rd Ave, Gainesville), Tuesday through Saturday, from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The adoption fees are: Cats - $25 and Dogs - $30.  All cats and dogs that have been at Animal Services longer than 21 days are available for adoption at reduced challenge prices: Cats - $10 and Dogs - $15.  All cats and dogs are examined, vaccinated and spayed or neutered prior to leaving Animal Services.

For more information contact Animal Services at 352-264-6870.


  • Mark Sexton
  • Communications & Legislative Affairs Director
  • Phone: 352-374-5204
  • Cell: 352-283-2317

If you have a disability and need an accommodation in order to participate in a County program, service or public meeting, please contact the Alachua County Equal Opportunity Office at 352-374-5275 at least 2 business days prior to the event. TTY users please call 711 (Florida Relay Service).