Aug 15 2020

Best Buddy Pets can be a Source of Great Comfort

Published by at 2:29 pm under General

Who’s your buddy?
During times of isolation and difficulty, having a pet can benefit both our mental and physical health. *

Pets can be a real comfort to us. From the happy wagging of a tail and endless devotion from a loving dog to the soft purring and cuddles from your favorite cat, the unconditional love of a pet can sometimes be better than any therapy or medicine. They calm us, they help us relieve stress, they lower our blood pressure and they can help with depression and anxiety. The love you give them is given back one hundred times over. 1*

In today’s world of isolating in place, people are feeling the strain on their mental health as we have discussed in previous blogs. Having a pet can bring much-needed companionship and relief. If you have a pet, you know this. If you don’t, it might be a great time to consider adopting one. Dogs and cats need us too, and with shelters full of animals needing homes and us spending more time at home, there’s never been a better time to consider adopting an animal. You’d be giving a homeless animal a new home, but what you get in return will surprise you.*

Health benefits of owning a pet.  

According to research and the CDC, “…Regular walking or playing with pets can decrease blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and triglyceride levels. Pets can help manage loneliness and depression by giving us companionship…” They are calming, they give us love and just the gentle act of petting your animal can bring great peace and relaxation. 1*

People with dogs tend to exercise and get outside more. Having a dog forces you to get up in the mornings with a purpose and take them outside. A short walk of just 15 minutes twice a day provides great health benefits, such as lowering cholesterol, blood pressure, and weight control. You’ll oxygenate your blood, fill your lungs with fresh air, and increase your heart rate all while taking in the sights and sounds of your neighborhood. It may provide you the opportunity to socialize with others, even if from six feet away. Dogs are great ice breakers as they are social too. So having a dog will not only encourage you to exercise but afford you the opportunity to interact with others while out in the fresh air.1*

Consider your options

If adopting an animal, consider your lifestyle and choose one accordingly. Do your research and don’t be hasty. Remember puppies turn into dogs, so consider their size and weight given your living situation. Pets, especially dogs, need attention and training. Often, people get a dog without providing it the training it needs and then get frustrated when the dog chews up shoes, barks too much or isn’t potty trained. A trained dog is pure joy, so make sure you have the time and resources to put into its training and its care. If you live in a small apartment without a yard or work full time away from the house, a dog is probably not the best choice because they need attention as they are pack animals. In these cases, perhaps a cat would be perfect. Think it through because pet ownership is a commitment. Too many dogs end up in shelters because their owners didn’t take the time to train them and can’t handle them. 1*

Taking care of your animal’s health

Animals need proper care and nutrition to ensure they stay healthy. Regular veterinary checkups and vaccinations, deworming, flea, and tick control are important but veterinary visits can be costly, so make sure you are prepared for that. Feed your dog food that is not full of fillers and byproducts and give them access to fresh, clean water every day paying close attention in the summer months, because they need more water during these hot months, just like we do.

Probiotics are great for your pets and that is why Body Biotics Bio-Identical SBO Probiotics Consortia is great to put into their food. Just like humans, animals don’t always get the healthy bacteria they need to keep their digestive tracts functioning properly. Dogs that get walked mainly on sidewalks and streets where they aren’t exposed to grass and dirt especially need the exposure to friendly bacteria that they don’t find in nature. Just break up a capsule and put in their food every other day as a maintenance care program.1*

Avoid getting sick from your animals.

Be cognizant of the fact that pets can carry harmful germs that can make people sick. These zoonotic diseases are when a disease jumps from an animal to a human. So take precautions with your pets to ensure the whole family stays healthy. Pregnant women, young children and those with weakened immune systems should be cautious when handling animals, especially those that you are not familiar with such as strays, as well as reptiles, amphibians, and backyard poultry.“…Pregnant women should avoid adopting a new cat or handling stray cats, especially kittens. Cats can carry a parasite that causes toxoplasmosis—a disease that can cause birth defects. If you are pregnant, you do not need to give up your current cat, but you should avoid changing cat litter…”1*

Homes with young children 5 and under should not have pet reptiles or amphibians (toads and frogs) or backyard chickens because harmful germs can spread between these animals and young children, according to the CDC. Additionally, if you are pregnant, avoid contact with pet rodents to prevent being exposed to a virus called lymphocytic choriomeningitis, which can cause birth defects. Cleaning the cat box daily and having your dog do his business away from the yard and always dispose of in a trash receptacle will help reduce the spread of parasites. 1*

Let Wildlife stay in the wild

Avoid touching wild animals. If you see a baby animal in the wild, avoid the desire to rescue it…most likely its mama is out looking for food and will be back soon. When we interfere with wildlife, we run the risk of illness and injury, and we may bring the animal harm by scaring away its mother. Don’t encourage wild animals to come into your home or yard with food. If you are truly concerned about the health and safety of a wild animal, call the local wildlife rescue facility in your area. 1*

Can pets get the Coronavirus?

According to the CDC, “…A small number of pets worldwide, including cats and dogs, have been reported to be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, mostly after close contact with people with COVID-19. Based on the limited information available to date, the risk of animals spreading COVID-19 to people is considered below. It appears that the virus that causes COVID-19 can spread from people to animals in some situations. Treat pets as you would other human family members – do not let pets interact with people outside the household. If a person inside the household becomes sick, isolate that person from everyone else, including pets. This is a rapidly evolving situation and information will be updated as it becomes available…”2*

The joy and health benefits of owning a pet are abundant. When taking the proper preparations and precautions to make sure you are up for the commitment, you will find the rewards are plentiful. The unconditional love might just get you through this pandemic after all and leave you with a lifelong loving relationship that will treasure forever.

Healthiest wishes,

Kelli

www.bodybiotics.com

 

Resources:

  1. https://www.cdc.gov/healthypets/health-benefits/index.html#:~:text=Studies%20have%20shown%20that%20the,Decreased%20cholesterol%20levels
  2. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/pets.html

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