February is the month of LOVE, and who better to shower love on than your pets!
Human-Animal relationships have many benefits similar to Human-Human relationships. Here are some interesting facts about the Human-Animal Bond:
Oxytocin, which you may have heard about in relation to mother-baby bonding, is also the hormone that bonds us to our pets and produces that sense of happiness and well-being in your interactions with your pet. Amazingly, dogs also have a surge of oxytocin when interacting with their owners, as opposed to strangers.
February is also American Heart Month, which is appropriate to mention here since many research studies have shown that owning pets great for our heart health. The American Heart Association has gone as far as to publish a summary of all the research that demonstrates how pet ownership can directly improve cardiovascular health. The main benefits are that interactions with pets lower stress hormones in the body and that pets (especially dogs) make you more active. Exercise and reduced stress help lower blood pressure, which helps prevent many cardiovascular diseases.
Mental health benefits of pet ownership are also a popular research topic. Studies have shown the benefits of pet ownership/assistance for anxiety, depression, PTSD, and dementia disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease. Animal-assisted therapy programs are becoming more and more popular as a tool in treating those with mental health disorders.
You probably already knew that your bond with your pet was special, but science absolutely confirms that is true! Shower your pet with lots of love this month, but be sure to keep them away from your chocolate. :-)
Check back in 2 weeks for our blog on DENTAL DISEASE - and feel free to join us at the Aurora Hills Branch Library on Tuesday, February 20th from 5:00-6:00pm - we (Clarendon Animal Care/Dr. Gloor) will be presenting on pet dental health. Sign up here!
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