As I write this newsletter, I am still grieving the loss of a very special pet, Butch who died last week.  Butch was a 15 year old Airedale which is apparently the equivalent of about 83 human years. He was a gentle dog until he felt like an animal was encroaching on his territory.  More than once he trapped opossums, armadillos, beavers and ran off many others.  He just never learned how to avoid skunks and regularly was getting bathed for this.  One of our favorite stories was a night after he had been sprayed by a skunk he had come into the utility room where my daughter’s volleyball jersey had been hanging.  She grabbed it that morning and threw it into a bag only to discover on the way to the tournament the skunk smell permeated the entire bus!  He loved his walks and made sure it was on his time stopping to smell every post and bush.  He loved his family and made sure we knew it.  Pets hold such a special place in our hearts.  I honestly cannot remember the last time I didn’t have a pet.  We usually had several so they would help keep each other company and he was the last Mohican.

There is a reason they came up with the saying “dogs are a man’s best friend”.  Turns out research actually backs that up!  READ ON to learn all about the health benefits of being around a pet. You might be surprised how it helps your dating life, too!

Ask the Doctor:  Detecting inflammation with Thermography

1. Pets boost your physical health

  •      Increased daily exercise – dog owners are four times more likely to meet their daily physical activities
  •      Decreased stress hormones like cortisol- petting a dog 10 minutes can have a significant impact
  •      Increased feel good hormones like serotonin and dopamine therefore decreasing risk of depression
  •      Helps decrease blood pressure

2. Pets improve social interaction

  •      They provide companionship
  •      They invite interaction with others (especially when taking a walk)- 40 percent of dog owners had an easier time making friends.

3. Pets help emotionally – there is reason that animal therapy works!  Research showed military veterans with PTSD do better psychologically when they had a service dog.

  •      Helps improve the feeling of security
  •      Can help decrease anxiety
  •      Can help improve self esteem

4. Pets improve cognitive function

  •      Animals can spark improved memory
  •      Pet therapy improves cognitive function of residents in mental facilities
  •      Pets decrease agitation in seniors with dementia

5. Pets make you more attractive!  In several studies, men were more likely to ask a woman for a date if they had a dog with them.  On dating sites, men and women are more likely to “swipe right” when they include a photo of their pup.

 

To your health,

Laura