Wednesday, October 24, 2012

PETS KEEP US HEALTHY (c) By Polly Guerin

I am always amazed how people react to my little poodle dog, Colby. A smile instantly comes over their grime city face and they sometimes ask, “Can I pet him?” Well, these little furry angels dispense a whole wealth of canine therapy to make us feel happy and less stressed. However, people in different age groups benefit from pets in different ways. It’s a well known fact that therapy dogs and even cats are already dispensing love and comfort in hospitals and long term care facilities and nursing homes, not to mention being a great distraction from feeling ill. Studies verify these facts and have shown that having a pet has a positive impact on physical and emotional health.
THE FEEL-GOOD CURE It’s been recognized by the sage medical doctors and therapists that pets can improve your life by bringing unconditional love, not to mention providing a constant and comforting companion. No wonder there has been a surge in dog ownership. You do not need a doctor’s prescription to reap the benefits of animal communication, just own a pet of your own. However, if your lease has a ‘no pets’ policy you can still interact and get some puppy love at your local animal shelter. At the same time your volunteer time there will give some love back to needy animals waiting for adoption.
PET PRESCRIPTION So when you’re feeling blue, stressed out, and tied in knots take time out and just communicate with your pet. They welcome pets and it's amazing how they listen so intently. However, you need to consider just how much time you can spend with the animal. Although a pet, especially interacting with a dog, can help to relieve stress, if you do not have the time to devote to a pet, you can cause the animal great stress and anxiety, even excessive barking while you are away too long.
TRAVEL/VACATION ARRANGEMENTS If your work requires travel you also have to know what arrangements can be made to take care of the animal during the time you are away on business or during time away on vacation. Many dog groomer businesses also offer overnight and even weekly accommodation in their facilities, but this service is usually quite costly. If you are lucky enough to have a relative who will accommodate your pet in their home, while you are away, that would be a feel-safe advantage.
FINANCIAL CONSIDERATIONS While many people acquire their pet through a private breeder or a reliable pet store, there are also many dogs and cats in animal shelters with pedigree breeding. I highly recommend you investigate what kind of dog or cat is available there first or look up ‘rescue sites’ on the Internet for a specific breed you are interested in. There are also financial considerations like costs for pet food, grooming and veterinary care. These costs of pet maintenance can be expensive but I opt for reasonable clinics like the Humane Society of New York’s clinic on East 59th Street in New York City.

Since Scientific studies prove that petting your dog increases the level of pleasure hormones and lowers the stress hormone this may be the time to get one of these furry angels of your own.

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