Share the Love – Own a Pet!

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and it made us all here at Fit’n’Furry Pet Resort think of how much we love our pets; and how much they love us back! Although a box of chocolates might not be the best gift for our furry friends on February 14th, the real gift shared on this day is what our furry family companions have done for us! They deserve many hugs and much love for what they do for our mind and body.

It is widely known that owning a pet has many benefits for our well-being, mentally and physically. According to researcher James E. Gern, MD, a pediatrician at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology,  a growing number of studies have suggested that kids growing up in a home with “furred animals”, whether it’s a pet cat or dog, or on a farm and exposed to large animals, will have less risk of allergies and asthma (contrary to popular belief).  Children will also be less likely to suffer from eczema and will have higher levels of some immune system chemicals — a sign of stronger immune system! “Dogs are dirty animals, and this suggests that babies who have greater exposure to dirt and allergens have a stronger immune system,” Gern says.

Ever notice when you’re walking Fido at the park many a passer-by exclaims, “Awww! What a cute dog! What’s his name?”? Dogs are natural conversation starters which, in turn, is a wonderful way to make friends as well as love connections. Thank you Fido for helping us get dates!

Cats and dogs also make wonderful companions for senior citizens, as long as the pet is manageable. “Studies have shown that Alzheimer’s patients have fewer anxious outbursts if there is an animal in the home,” says Lynette Hart, PhD, associate professor at the University of California at Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. “Their caregivers also feel less burdened when there is a pet, particularly if it is a cat, which generally requires less care than a dog,” says Hart. Walking a dog provides fun and relaxing exercise for the elderly and the caring needed for a pet is perfect for companionship.

Happy Valentine’s Day! Our pets greatly help with our heart health. Of course, keep eating your bowl of Cheerios every morning but in one study, stockbrokers with high blood pressure who adopted a cat or dog had lower blood pressure readings in stressful situations than did people without pets. Any fun activity with your pet elevates levels of serotonin and dopamine which reduces stress and depression which then assists in a strong immune system. In turn, heart attack patients who have pets survive longer than those without, according to several studies.

After a long, hard day at work, it’s always nice to come home to a smiling face from your dog or sit down and have your kitty jump on your lap to let you know, somehow, in their own special way, that everything is going to be alright. We often are concerned with how our pets are doing everyday but perhaps they are just as worried about us! Pets are beyond wonderful for every age and help more than we may have believed.

This February, share the love. At Fit’n’Furry Pet Resort, Petaluma, CA, through February 14th, we are selling PupCakes (dog-friendly ingredient cupcakes made by Ma Snax ) to benefit the Sonoma Humane Society . All proceeds help future human-health-helpers!

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