APA!’s National Shelter Support team was working at a partner shelter location when they first laid eyes on sweet Darla. With legs too scared to walk, the 8-month old Golden Retriever was being taken to the euthanasia room in a wheelbarrow when a member of our team intervened.
Freeze-dried raw pet treats rate high in convenience, palatability and nutritional worth. They make a great addition to your pet’s diet and don’t contain the unhealthy ingredients that regular pet treats have. Why feed your pets raw treats? The idea of feeding raw in general is to add the benefits that cooked food cannot provide. […]
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When you have a pet, it can be one of the best experiences in a person’s life. It brings not only a unique sense of joy, companionship, and unconditional love but also a wide range of tangible health and psychological benefits. This article will explore the multifaceted advantages that come with pet ownership, from physical and mental health enhancements to educational and social benefits.
Pets, such as dogs and cats, are the most common companions in our homes. They are more than just animals; they become family members and friends who share our lives and daily routines.
Physical Health Benefits
One of the most evident benefits of owning a pet, especially active ones like dogs, is the increased level of physical activity. Dogs need regular walks, playtime, and exercise, which inadvertently encourages their owners to participate, leading to improved cardiovascular health, reduced blood pressure, and overall fitness. A 2019 study published in “Circulation,” a journal from the American Heart Association, suggested that dog owners have a less risk of heart disease, primarily because of their increased physical activity levels.
Moreover, pets can help with weight management. Regular playtime and walks can burn calories and keep both the pet and the owner in shape. The study from the National Institutes of Health found that people who regularly walk their dogs are less likely to be bigger than those who don’t.
Beyond this, pets, particularly dogs, can detect certain health conditions in their owners. Some dogs can be trained to recognize and respond to seizures, severe allergies, or drops in blood sugar, providing a safety net for individuals with these conditions.
Mental Health Benefits
Pets offer significant mental health benefits, acting as a buffer against stress, loneliness, and anxiety. When petting a dog or cat can release endorphins—feel-good hormones—in the brain, promoting a sense of calm and well-being. This is why animal-assisted therapy has been successful in treating conditions like Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Pets also provide a sense of responsibility that can enhance self-esteem and ward off feelings of worthlessness or depression. They require care and attention, which can give structure to their owner’s day and provide a focus outside of their worries or anxieties.
Social and Emotional Benefits
Pets can also act as social catalysts. They can encourage interactions and create opportunities for socialization. For instance, dog parks and pet-related events are perfect places to meet and interact with fellow pet owners. For the elderly or those living alone, pets provide companionship and a sense of security.
Moreover, pets can teach empathy and compassion, especially to children. By taking care of a pet, children learn to understand and respect the feelings and needs of others. This lesson can extend to their interactions with people, nurturing their emotional development.
Owning a pet can be educational. For children, pets provide an early lesson in biology and the life cycle, from birth to adulthood and eventually, the concept of death. They can also learn about responsibility, as pets require feeding, grooming, and medical care.
The benefits of owning a pet are extensive and impact various aspects of a person’s life. From physical health improvements to mental health support, from social enrichment to educational lessons, pets enrich our lives in countless ways. They offer a unique form of companionship characterized by unconditional love and loyalty.
However, it’s essential to remember that pet ownership is a significant commitment that requires time, resources, and emotional investment. The type of pet, their breed, age, and health status can also influence the degree of these benefits. Ultimately, the joy and benefits that come with owning a pet often outweigh the challenges, making the journey worthwhile.
Who would’ve guessed big boy Tomato Paste, who started losing his
appetite at the shelter due to stress, would soon spend every day
getting cuddles and wearing fun costumes in his new home? (Well, maybe
we could’ve guessed!). Now affectionately nicknamed Tommy, this
incontinent kitty is getting the peace, love, and routine he craves from
his new family thanks to support from friends like you.
Tail Position: A dog’s tail position can indicate its mood and level of excitement. A relaxed tail indicates a calm or content mood, while a tail held high indicates excitement or alertness. A tail tucked between the legs indicates fear or anxiety.
Ear Position: A dog’s ear position can also indicate its mood. Ears held forward indicate interest or attentiveness, while ears flattened against the head indicate fear or submission.
Eye Contact: Eye contact is another important indicator of a dog’s mood. A relaxed, friendly dog will make eye contact with you, while a fearful or aggressive dog may avoid eye contact or stare intensely.
Body Posture: A dog’s body posture can also indicate its mood. A relaxed, happy dog will have a loose, wiggly body posture, while a fearful or aggressive dog may stand stiffly or crouch low to the ground.
Vocalizations: Dogs also communicate through vocalizations. Barking, growling, and whining can all indicate different levels of excitement or stress.
Tail Position: A cat’s tail position can indicate its mood. A relaxed cat will hold their tail upright or slightly curved, while an agitated cat may hold their tail low or twitch it rapidly.
Ear Position: A cat’s ear position can also indicate its mood. Ears held forward indicate interest or attentiveness, while ears flattened against the head indicate fear or aggression.
Eye Contact: Eye contact is another important indicator of a cat’s mood. A relaxed, friendly cat will make eye contact with you, while an agitated or fearful cat may avoid eye contact or stare intensely.
Body Posture: A cat’s body posture can also indicate its mood. A relaxed, happy cat will have a loose, relaxed body posture, while an agitated or fearful cat may arch their back, hiss, or flatten their ears against their head.
Vocalizations: Cats communicate through vocalizations as well. Meowing, purring, and hissing can all indicate different levels of excitement or stress.
Feather Position: A bird’s feather position can indicate its mood. A relaxed bird will have smooth, relaxed feathers, while a fearful or agitated bird may have ruffled or fluffed feathers.
Wing Position: A bird’s wing position can also indicate its mood. A relaxed bird will hold their wings slightly away from their body, while a fearful or agitated bird may hold their wings tightly against their body.
Eye Contact: Eye contact is essential for communicating with birds. A relaxed, friendly bird will make eye contact with you, while a fearful or aggressive bird may avoid eye contact or stare intensely.
Body Posture: A bird’s body posture can also indicate its mood. A relaxed, happy bird will have a relaxed body posture, while a fearful or agitated bird may crouch low to the ground or fluff their feathers.
Vocalizations: Birds communicate through vocalizations as well. Singing, chirping, and squawking can all indicate different levels of excitement or stress.
$510,000 grant will fund training program for shelter veterinarians. Gainesville, FL (January 18, 2023) – The Shelter Medicine Program at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine will receive a $510,000 grant from national nonprofit Petco Love to address the increasing shortage of shelter medicine veterinarians to assure shelter pets have access to timely […]
You might not think of mold as a good sign, but if your dog’s treats eventually grow mold, then it means you’re feeding your pup natural, preservative-free goodies that will help them enjoy a happy and active life. Finding a loaf of moldy bread in your pantry might be an inconvenience that means an unscheduled […]
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