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The Best Pets for the Job
Whether you prefer small animals over large animals or reptiles over rodents, any and all forms of pet ownership can be beneficial for your overall health. Here are just a few of the many animals who can keep you happy, healthy and stress-free.
Research links dog ownership with many physical health benefits, including lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels and reduced risk of heart disease. Dog owners are more likely to be physically active, mentally happy and have stronger immune systems.
Cats are just as beneficial for owners as their canine counterparts. Owning either animal leads to significantly lower stress levels. One recent study even revealed that people who never owned a cat have a 40-percent higher chance of death from a heart attack than current cat owners do.
Horses also offer considerable physical and psychological benefits. Since they need a great amount of daily exercise, horse ownership encourages regular physical activity and keeps you constantly moving. Moreover, riding promotes self-confidence and reduced stress levels.
Have you ever noticed that you tend to feel better when you are around your pet? You are not alone.
Recent studies show that nearly 50 percent of Americans find stress relief from their pets. Whether you own a dog, a cat or a lizard, pets offer companionship that can be greatly beneficial for your physical and mental health. Here are some of the many ways pets can help improve your overall quality of life.
Pets keep you healthy. Pets, especially dogs, can help lower your risk of cardiovascular disease. This is because dog owners tend to walk much more than non-owners. Regular exercise is not only good for your animals, but also often leads to lower cholesterol, blood pressure and stress levels in humans.
Moreover, studies show that people who own pets are 54-percent more likely to meet federal exercise guidelines than those who don’t own pets. Even playing with your cat or hamster can lead to an overall increase in physical activity. However, since some pets require much more or much less exercise than others, the amount of physical activity you engage in with your pet can vary.
In addition, pets can lessen allergies and strengthen your body’s immunity. Children who grow up in homes with animals are shown to be less likely to develop some common allergies including grass, dust, ragweed and pet allergies. Some studies also suggest the people who grow up in homes with furry pets are at a lower risk for asthma than their non-pet owning counterparts.
Pets make you happier. Research shows that pet owners are typically happier than non-owners. This is because just being around your pet can increase serotonin and dopamine levels, neurotransmitters that are associated with happy feelings.
In addition, gently petting your four-legged friend can reduce stress levels in both you and your pet. This petting action tends to release oxytocin. Oxytocin is a hormone associated with emotional bonding and relaxation. In fact, the simple act of petting an animal has been found to lower blood pressure as well.
Playing and spending time with your pet also reduces your body’s levels of cortisol, also known as the stress hormone. Cortisol helps regulate what you might know as your fight-or-flight response. Chronically high levels of cortisol can cause excessive weight gain, sleep problems, blood sugar abnormalities and more. Spending regular face time with your animal can lower your cortisol levels by 10-20 points and leave you feeling much happier and healthier overall.
If you have any questions about how you can return the favor and better care for your furry friend, contact us today.
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Don't take a good vet for granted, that's what I say. I currently live in another state and have taken my 10 year old dog to numerous vets over the years (California, Colorado, Vegas, and then some). Never have I ever received the attention and care I've gotten w/Dr. Hines. Within the past 3 months alone, my dog went to 3 different vets for a horrible and painful skin problem that broke out all over her body.
The first vet: I spent more time ponying up the $175 for the visit than the Dr. spent actually looking at my dog. He performed a woods lamp exam for ringworm. Even without Google or a veterinary degree, I could tell it wasn't ringworm. Thanks for taking my money.
Second vet: "Here's some spray, now here's your bill. Bring her back in two weeks so I can charge you another visit." No tests, nothing.
Between the two, I felt like I got nowhere. No definitive answer on why this affected my dog and the medication given wasn't even for a diagnosed condition. Just some general topical spray. I could have bought it at Petsmart and saved myself the time and money.
Recently, on a visit to Idaho, I planned ahead to bring my dog to the Rupert Animal Clinic. I asked the same questions, had the same concerns and now have different results. Dr. Hines gave me options on what route to take, ran appropriate tests and communicated with me every step of the way (even calling me personally when test results came in). My primary concern was cancer. Our dog is like our child- we'll pay the money if we can keep her healthy and safe. In the future, I've resolved to bring my dog to Rupert Animal Clinic on our annual trip for all of her exams. I know she won't be treated as a little cash cow to exploit an owner's love for pets.