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Saturday, May 26, 2007

Man's (or Woman's) Best Friend

Can pets really have an effect on our mental health? The answer is a strong resounding… YES! In fact, research shows that pets affects their owner’s depression level, life expectancy, and physical health.

Let’s look at some of the recent studies related to pets and blood pressure. A current study investigated a group of patients who owned an animal versus those who did not own a pet. The findings were dramatic! The research documented that pet owners had lower blood pressure compared to those patients who did not own a pet. In fact, another study discovered the act of talking to a pet can actually decreases blood pressure.

What are some of the benefits of owning a pet?

  • In a study of over 1000 Medicare patients, dog owners in the study had 21% fewer physician contacts than non-dog owners.
  • Research indicates that our blood pressure is lower if we own a pet, vs those who do not own a pet
Why are pets so helpful in treating depression?
  • Pets give unconditional love and support; undivided loyalty and devotion; total acceptance and nurturing. They make us feel appreciated and seem to increase our sense of self-esteem and worth
What are 5 major reasons to have pets?
• Pets provide a sense of security and protection ( someone is always around, which gives us
the sense of safety and being part of something larger)
• Pets are friends (helps with loneliness)
• Pets ease loss ( people with pets are less likely to experience deterioration in health
following stressful events)
• Pets encourage us to become more active (we go for more walks and generally are
more active than those without pets)
• Pets encourage us to take better care of themselves (generally we take better care of
their pet and themselves because they have something to love and nurture)

* Note: Last night we lost one of our beloved labs who had graced our lives for almost 13 years. She provided so much love, laughter, and comfort to us, and we know the power that pets hold in changing our lives in such a powerful way. This entry to a dedication to our little Dakota who taught us how to love unconditionally and always have a loving disposition to all we meet.


Anonymous said...

Thank you very much. Where would we be without our pets?

Anonymous said...

Pets are the greatest "people" in the world!!! Who else would get excited when you returned from taking out the garage!
They love us no matter what. When we have had a bad day, all other "humans": stay away from us. But our four-legged friends crawl up into our laps, without our knowledge, and before we know it we are petting them. They are licking you and nearly all the frustration and anger has left us!
However, pets need our love and affection too. Take time to play with, walk, or throw the ball with your dog everyday. Talk to them; let them know how important they are to you.
Lose of a pet, is sometimes more difficult than the lost of a person, in certain situations. When that pet has been the only company we have had, it is extremely difficult. If a friend has lost their pet, don't be afraid to express you condolences to them. The pet owner needs to know others saw their pet as a important part of Their lives.
Don't try to replace the pet right away. Spend some time grieving for you lost friend. And when you do get a new pet, realize this pet is not a replacement for the pet you lost. No, this pet will be unique in his personality, attitude, and talents.
Accept him/her for who the are.