Pets Make Humans Healthier

BY ALLISON KOZICHAROW AND BERNICE BORN

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s life healthier with a pet? Animals are doing more every day to improve human health and well-being.

 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that pets can lower our blood pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride levels, can banish feelings of loneliness, and can increase our opportunities for exercise, outdoor activities and socialization.

 

Animals from dogs to horses to cats perform small miracles for people constantly. Pets react when the blood sugar level of a child with diabetes drops or an epileptic seizure is on the way. Hospitals and nursing homes use animals for calming patients who have anxiety and fear. Therapists use pets in mental health sessions. Horses provide physical therapy for stroke victims and emotional healing for abuse victims. Children with autism benefit from having the responsibility of caring for a pet. Service dogs help veterans cope with posttraumatic stress disorders. Dogs also search for lost children and victims of disasters, sniff for drugs and bombs and find chemicals that were used in arson.

 

Are pets the new probiotic? asks a recent New York Times article. Society’s fear of germs may actually be weakening our immune systems. Studies show that children who grow up exposed to the bacteria and viruses that dogs bring indoors have a lower risk for developing allergies and asthma than children in petless households.

 

Most of all, pets offer the priceless gift of love and companionship. WiRED International suggests that as we enjoy our pets, we stop to appreciate the many health benefits they bring us.

 

 


Keep Pets Safe in an Emergency

 

Emergencies come in many forms: fires, hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, floods, violent storms and even terrorism. In the event of extreme weather or a disaster, would you know what to do to protect your pet?

 

Many pet owners are unsure of what to do if they’re faced with such a situation, which can be avoided by preparing before an emergency occurs.

Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Have a plan. Include what to do with your pet when you are not home; have a place you can go to that is pet friendly.
  2. Make a kit. Include food and water for your pet.
  3. Plan for I.C.E. or In Case of Emergency. Keep photos and medical records for your pets in case you are separated and need to find them.
  4. Make sure your pets’ vaccinations are up to date.
  5. Have a safe haven for your pet. Keep a leash and bed or crate handy.
  6. Place a rescue sticker on your front door. Include the numbers and types of pets to be rescued.
  7. Microchip your pet.

Source: CDC

 

 

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