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Health & Fitness
The Correlation Between Pets And Your Mental Health
Ally Feiam 14/06/2017
We all know that dogs can make you smile, but did you know that owning a pet can have serious benefits for your mental and physical health? Studies have shown that owning a pet makes you happier, and they can keep you away from nasty bugs and diseases, so go ahead and cuddle your furry pal! Here’s the correlation between owning a pet and good mental health.
Friends With Benefits
Your pet is more than just a buddy who doesn’t speak your language and shares a home with you, they’re a friend. After you come home from a long day, they’re the first to greet you. As most friends do, your pet will listen to your problems, issues and happy days, without judgement and criticism. A real friend; they will keep you company and keep you feeling wanted and safe, even if no one else is. This emotional bond you share with your pet can release oxytocin (the love hormone) and endorphins (a bunch of hormones that make you a happy camper), which overall makes your perception of life better, improving your mental health. If you go outside and you see your pet chilling in their house, give them a cuddle; you’ll feel better.
Happiness Is Dog Shaped
So are you a dog person, or a cat person? An age-old question that has often torn relationships apart, and caused wars. Okay, maybe not; but it is a huge debate between pet lovers, that often creates heated discussions. Recent studies have shown that although cat lovers may be calmer, more introverted and quieter, dog lovers tend to be happier and more satisfied with life in general. If you don’t believe me, Sharon Moore from Petcarers has some scientific reasons why dog owners are happier than cat owners:
- – Dog owners are less likely to suffer from depression than those without pets.
- – People with dogs have lower blood pressure in stressful situations than those without pets. One study even found that when people with borderline hypertension adopted dogs from a shelter, their blood pressure declined significantly within five months.
- – Playing with a dog or cat can elevate levels of serotonin and dopamine, which calm and relax.
- – Pet owners have lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels (indicators of heart disease) than those without pets.
- – Heart attack patients with dogs survive longer than those without.
Find out more about Petcarers by following them on Facebook. Sorry cat lovers, but dog owners are happier. Don’t blame me, it’s science.
Pets Can Feel The Love Too
Did you know what pets release oxytocin when they see their owner? The love hormone is produced in extremely high levels in dogs when they see their owners, cats…not so much. However, cats do produce oxytocin when they are in contact with their owner, which is surprising, as they are infamous for being less loving pets. If your furry pal is sitting in their bed, go over and give them a cuddle. It will make you both happy. Hugs produce oxytocin in your blood, keeping you happy and maintaining positive mental health. Tim Norris from Both Ends Of The Lead, explains how pets can help you feel the love. “Caring for a dog gives us something to put our love and positivity into, and helps navigate lives struggles and challenges and helps us become less self-absorbed and focused on our own issues. This can only make us a better person. By opening our heart to caring for a dog, we open the possibility to take better care of ourselves and others around us. For some of us, our dogs are our family and give up a sense of purpose and something to live for. They have been shown to help improve our mental and physical health on multiple levels.” Find out more about Both Ends of The Lead by following them on Facebook and Twitter.
Pets Bring Families Together
For those who have pets, you know how much they mean to you. However, did you know that pets can improve your relationship with your family, help you get through tough times and make you more optimistic about whatever life throws at you? Jodie Guerrero, a multiple medical trauma survivor, has the perfect reason why pets can affect you and your health. “Our family has significant illness and disability to contend with on a daily basis. Eight years ago, we decided to adopt a rescue puppy from the RSPCA. He is still with us, a Maltese-Shih Tzu named Bobby. We have also adopted 2 other dogs, one passed away and one has been rehomed. Having Bobby around has been really healing for us, as a family – he provides laughter and love @ our darkest times. We love him dearly, like a son. We know that dogs have a limited lifespan, but we feel we are meant to rescue doggies and will continue to do so. We are considering maybe joining a rescue group and foster caring for rescue doggies, until they find they’re ‘fur-ever’ home.” Follow Jodie’s Journey on Facebook and Instagram.
Pets can completely change your view on life, improve your mental health and keep your spirits up, even when life throws curve balls your way. It could be a horse, dog or even pet fish; pets are amazing. So what are you waiting for? Go give your fur baby a hug, and if you don’t have a fur baby, go adopt one. They’ll change your life.
Why Pets Are So Important To Your Health
Pets are one of the best things in the world; they offer you love, friendship and happiness, all in the wag of a tail. Having a pet can be so wonderful, but it’s hard to pinpoint exactly why. Here are some reasons why having a pet is so important, and how to cherish them.
Did you know that kids who grow up with pets may be healthier than those who don’t? Kids can benefit with animals around the house, boosting their growing immune system, and preventing them from having respiratory tract infections by 31%, as well as preventing ear infections by up to 44%. So keep your fur babies around your real babies; they may become healthier and stronger every day!
Self Esteem Booster
Speaking of kids, did you know that having a pet around the house can help boost a kid’s self esteem? Studies have shown that children who grow up with an animal in the house have a higher self esteem than those who don’t. With improved social skills and an active lifestyle, their self esteem is boosted and can make them more approachable in social situations.
This doesn’t just count for kids, adult’s self esteem can benefit from having a furry friend around the house too. As pets are a great conversation starter, your little pal may give you extra confidence and make you feel more approachable, which, in turn, will boost your self esteem.
They’re An Antidepressant
Pets have been proven to help fight and prevent depression, as they boost your mood and keep you smiling. A calm and neutral friend is essential for any healthy person, and a pet is just that. Since they can’t talk, they can listen, and if you find a way to get all of your anger, distress or feelings out to someone who won’t argue back to you, but accepts you for who you are and loves you, you’ll feel a weight off your shoulders. If you’ve had a terrible day at work, and you need someone to cuddle, grab your pet. They‘re always there for you, and they’ll always love you, so give them a kiss and a hug. They deserve it. Sit down with your pet once in a while, even if you’re sitting by their bed and giving them a back scratch, just chill and tell them about your day. They’re not going to judge you, just love you. How amazing is that?
Since pets would do anything for you, return the favour. You should offer them love and comfort, and make sure they know that they’re loved. While you shouldn’t spoil them, you should shower them with warmth, comfort and trust. Keep them comfy with a nice, soft bed and keep them occupied with a toy or two. If they’re an outside dog, keep them safe from the elements with a nice kennel. You have a nice place to sleep, so should they!
Keep your fur baby healthy by taking them to the vet once in a while for a check up. Since they have no way to communicate to you if they’re in pain, so keep an eye on them and make sure you have tabs on their eating habits and routine.
Your pet can help you in more ways than you may realise, so when you go home, give your fur baby a cuddle; they deserve it.
How can you safely introduce pets to children?
Dog Walkers valuable info
Prepare your Pets for Summer Article What should you do to prepare your pets for summer?
Beagle blowing in the breeze
Do you have a shady yard? Trees, a shade cloth shelter? A sandpit to dig down into and stay cool, a children’s shell pool with water. Put a step in it for little dogs to get in and out easily. Sprinklers on in the shade to soak the lawn before leaving for work. Keep pool gates closed, pets also drown in unattended pools. Clean water, sturdy bowls so they can’t be tipped over, and multiple buckets/bowls. Some dogs will try to get into their water bowls to cool themselves down, spilling a lot of it.
Dog coats trimmed, your long haired dogs will thank you for it. Have a vet check especially for your elderly pets. Ask for advice on your pet’s weight. If overweight, gradually reducing their food portions will make for a much happier pet, and they will cope with the summer weather much better. Carrots make a great low fat treat for dogs. You can use ice cream containers, and freeze meat or seafood flavoured water. Nice large blocks that will keep them amused and cool. Dog walks early morning or later in the evening.
Petcarers has a heat policy- we don’t take dogs for walks when it’s over 28 degrees. Hot paths and roads can burn their feet, they can suffer heat stroke, short snouted (brachycephalic) dogs in particular such as pugs and bulldogs don’t deal well with the heat. They can’t pant as well as other dogs, to regulate their body temperature. If you usually book pm pet sit visits for your pets when you are away, consider booking morning visits so we can walk your dog’s in the cool of the day. Mosquito proof netting over hutches, mossies carry viruses which can make your hutch animals very ill, or worse. Bring birds, hutch animals and domestic pets inside where possible. If they can be let out on an enclosed tile area, the tiles will keep them cool. If you can’t bring them inside, place wet blankets/towels over their cage/hutch and put solid icepacks or frozen water bottles in with them to lean against. In hot weather these will melt quickly, be sure to replace them often. Move their cages/hutches into shady areas as the sun moves during the day. If you take your dog in the car but need to leave them unattended for any length of time, the very short period of time it takes to overheat in cars can kill them. It’s just not worth the risk.
Does your emergency evacuation plan include your pets? Have leads, cat carriers, spare non-perishable food, water & bowls ready. Consider who can evacuate your pets if you aren’t able to get there in time and where will you/they evacuate to? Party season, please don’t let people give your pets alcohol or non-pet food. So many human foods are toxic to animals including chocolate and onions. A lovely pet treat on Christmas Day (no cooked bones) will keep your pets happy, and perhaps reduce the number of pets needing to see the vet on Boxing Day. Until next time please give your fur babies a big pat from me. Sharon Moore – Petcarers “A well-trained dog will make no attempt to share your lunch. He will just make you feel so guilty that you cannot enjoy it.” -Helen Thomson
Eye Contact with a Dog Article Eye Contact A dog’s natural instinct is to look away from another dog’s eyes to avoid challenging him. A stare is a challenge, and a fairly rude one at that. Dogs will naturally tend to look away from us, unless they are challenging us or we have trained them to do so. If we stare at them, it is confronting to them. A dominant dog will stare back, growl, and generally escalate aggressive behavior until the other party backs down whereas a very submissive dog will squat or roll and urinate in deference. When interacting with a new dog, it is ok to look at them. Ensure you blink, occasionally look away, and never stare at them. If you are meeting a nervous dog, look away and talk to them quietly while they take the time to sniff you without feeling vulnerable.
Follow Patricia The Value of a Pet Sitter Written by Patricia Hunnybun Patricia Pantazis HunnybunOwner of Pampered Pets & People LLc & Becky’s Goodie Bags LLc The Value of a Pet Sitter Often times the value of a qualified experienced professional pet sitter is undervalued. People sometimes may assume a pet sitter isn’t educated or that their prices are too high. For those, they do not understand that many pet sitters are highly educated and worked in a corporate environment for many years only to one day realize they were not living their passion and made a conscious decision to leave a high paying salary for a rewarding career. Many professional pet sitters are insured, bonded, accredited and certified all of which costs hundreds of dollars a year, for some even thousands. Professional pet sitters with a professional name, registered with the state, a web site, a logo and professional business cards, brochures and the works also costs a lot of money. Add to those marketing and advertising expenses of which costs exactly the same for an individual pet sitter as it does for a huge corporation who make millions even billions a year.
A full time professional pet sitter also gives up evenings, some overnights, weekends and holidays. Pet sitters do not get paid time off, do not get company paid holidays, there are no sick days, fmla, vacation days, medical or dental insurance. All of these are self-insured or costs that the pet sitter takes on or simply just keeps on working. But the truest value of a pet sitter is what leads me to write this article. One does not necessarily hire a professional pet sitter for when everything is perfectly going well – but more so if something goes wrong and the experience to be able to handle any situation that might come up with your home or pets. A pro that is experienced and skilled in identifying stress, illness, injury even the most subtle of symptoms. One who is qualified and pays attention to detail in a proactive manner versus a reactive manner is priceless, thus avoiding possible problems with each visit. A pet sitter is also your pet’s companion, play mate, comfort when you are not home. We become a second home, a second parent to each and every one of them. They depend on us, trust us, and rely on us. We also help to train new puppies all the way to dealing with aging of the elderly. For all the low pay, no benefits, working 350 days a year (I take two weeks off a year) – giving up weekends and holidays and to a certain extent a social life; it is things like what this client told me today that makes it all worth it. This is not the first time a client has put me to tears and will not be the last. The battle between the mind and the heart in knowing when it is time to let our loved pet pass onto that rainbow bridge and the emotional struggle of being capable and strong to do it not only affects the owner, but us, the pet sitter as well. Knowing this and being valued like this is priceless. My client texted me today “…we don’t have much time left with our girl and I appreciate you helping us take care of her. We truly couldn’t do this without you.” I started to cry and texted my client back that her comment made me teary. She responded, “.. me too. Bad form to cry at work, but I am sincere in what I said. She needs you right now and it helps knowing we can all count on you to make sure she is as comfortable as possible. So, thank you for everything you do!” When considering hiring a pet sitter, remember the quality and value you are hiring and the importance of hiring the right pet sitter for your animals and not necessarily your pocket book. Every single one of my pets when I come to the door even with the owners home, come running to me, recognize me, trust me and have also developed trust, love and a relationship with me. It means everything why I do what I do, and why I am so important to them and their owners. Patricia of Pampered Pets & People LLC , Monument Colorado
The Value of a Pet Sitter by Patricia Hunnybun
The Value of a Pet Sitter I felt compelled to write a little article of the Value of a Pet Sitter after an exchange with a client today – it truly compelled me to realize the value of what I do every single day and the impact I have not only for my animals I […]
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