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Human’s best friend may also be a heart’s best friend too

AHA infographic

DALLAS (PRNewswire) — This June, the American Heart Association, the world’s leading voluntary organization focused on heart and brain health, is launching Best Friend Fridays™, an initiative that celebrates happy minds and healthy hearts one pet parent at a time.

As if pet parents needed more reason to brag about their furry friends – studies show that pets may be good for their health. According to a scientific statement by the American Heart Association, pets may help their owners get more exercise, may lower blood pressure and cholesterol and boost happiness.

Not only that, pets at work may help reduce stress, increase productivity and improve employee satisfaction, teamwork and collaboration.

This initiative encourages employers to designate one or all Fridays in June as Best Friend Fridays™ when employees can bring their pets to work and donate to support important heart research and education – for humans – at BestFriendFridays.heart.org.

Companies everywhere can join the American Heart Association in the fight to lick heart disease and stroke by supporting Best Friend Fridays™ this June in the following ways:

DONATE:

Ask your employer to celebrate Best Friend Fridays™ this June. Bring your pet to work and give $25, $55 or $505 in honor of your heart’s best friend. Your gift will support important heart research and education (for humans).

GET SOCIAL

When you bring your pet to work on Best Friend Fridays™, post a selfie of you and your heart’s best friend to spread the word using #BestFriendFridays.

TAKE IT OUTSIDE

If your company does not have pets at work yet, find a park where you and your pet can meet up with other pet parents in your company. It could be a whole new way to make new friends with your best friend.

“Many studies have explored the relationship between pet ownership and cardiovascular disease and reported a number of beneficial effects,” said Glenn N. Levine, M.D.; FAHA; FACC; Master Clinician and Professor of Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine; Director, Cardiac Care Unit, Michael E. DeBakey Medical Center; American Heart Association volunteer and author of the organization’s scientific statement on pet ownership.”

Pets may do more than help you stress less at work. Overall, pet parents tend to live longer than non-pet owners and dog parents are more likely to fit in the recommended level of physical activity than those who don’t have a dog.

Pets also add an element of companionship – letting you know you are not alone and providing social support – an important factor in helping you stick with healthy habits.

To celebrate the good that Fido, Fluffy and pets everywhere do for their owners, pet parents can make a donation to support the ongoing fight against heart disease in their pet’s name at BestFriendFridays.heart.org.

To learn more about Best Friend Fridays or about the possible health benefits of owning a pet, visit BestFriendFridays.heart.org.

About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is a leading force for a world of longer, healthier lives. With nearly a century of lifesaving work, the Dallas-based association is dedicated to ensuring equitable health for all. The AHA collaborates with numerous organizations and millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, advocate for stronger public health policies, and share lifesaving resources and information.

Connect with the AHA on heart.org, Facebook, Twitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.

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