Saturday, February 6, 2010



Pets Control Blood Pressure Better Than Drugs:
Yes, it’s true. While ACE inhibiting drugs
can generally reduce blood pressure, they aren’t
as effective on controlling spikes in blood pressure
due to stress and tension.
However, a groups of hypertensive New York
stockbrokers who had dogs or cats were found to have
lower blood pressure and heart rates than those
who didn’t have pets. When they heard of the results,
most of those in the non-pet group
went out and got pets!
Pets Encourage You To Get Out And Exercise:
Whether we walk our dogs because they need it,
or are more likely to enjoy a walk when we have
companionship, dog owners walk more than
non-pet owners, at least if we live in an urban setting.
Because exercise is good for stress management
and overall health, owning a dog can be credited with
increasing these benefits.
Pets Can Help With Social Support:
When we’re out walking, having a dog with us
can make us more approachable and give people
a reason to stop and talk, thereby increasing
the number of people we meet,
giving us an opportunity to
increase our network of friends and acquaintances,
which also has great stress management benefits.
Pets Stave Off Loneliness and Provide
Unconditional Love:
Pets can be there for you in ways that people can’t.
They can offer love and companionship, and can also
enjoy comfortable silences, keep secrets and are
excellent snugglers. And they could be the best antidote
to loneliness. In fact, research shows that nursing home
residents reported less loneliness when visited by dogs
than when they spent time with other people!
All these benefits can reduce the amount of stress
people experience in response to feelings of
social isolation and lack of social support
from people.
Pets Can Reduce Stress—
Sometimes More Than People:
While we all know the power of talking about
your problems with a good friend who’s also
a good listener, recent research shows that
spending time with a pet may be even better!
Recent research shows that,
when conducting a task that’s stressful,
people actually experienced less stress when their pets
were with them than when a supportive friend
or even their spouse was present!
(This may be partially due to the fact that
pets don’t judge us; they just love us.)
It’s important to realize that owning a pet
isn’t for everyone. Pets do come with additional work
and responsibility, which can bring its own stress.
However, for most people, the benefits
of having a pet outweigh the drawbacks.
Having a furry best friend can reduce stress
in your life and bring you support
when times get tough.
Elizabeth Scott, M.S. Stress Management
(The human in the photos above is my wife - Lynda.
The dogs are ours - two "pound puppies"
and a stray. The white guy is Duffy,
salvaged from the streets of Phoenix;
the black part-hound posing as Aunt Jemimah
is Ziggie; and the brown mutt in the car
with my wife is Priscilla,
a 16 year-old beast with a big heart,
but very few teeth.
Good dogs, all of them.)

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