A Dog Can Improve Your Health!

It’s not a stretch to say that our pets really do improve our health profile, if we are being good care givers, especially to our canine family members!

October is “Adopt a Shelter Dog” month so if you’ve been on the fence about having a pet, especially a doggie, let me encourage you to say YES!

Having any pet can decrease your blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and also feelings of isolation and loneliness. Having a DOG increases your opportunities for exercise and outdoor activities. They need to get out, with you, once or twice a day. My dogs are my conscience. There are many mornings where I might say, “Nay” to the morning chill and stay in, but those trusting eyes waiting for me to remember them keeps me honest and gets me out the door. It’s a rare day that I come to work without taking them for a bike ride or walk! Being out with a dog increases your opportunity and likelihood of talking to those you pass. They break down a social barrier and it’s much easier for some reason to comment on someone’s dog than to cold start a personal conversation.

Japanese researchers recently found that dog owners who were bonded to their pooches got a nice boost of oxytocin, a stress relieving neurotransmitter, just from exchanging glances and any physical contact with Fido.

As social animals, we NEED positive interactions with other animals, be they human or not- just being near another living thing, even better cuddling, will relieve stress, make the critter content and you both win!

So consider going to your local shelter and see who might fit into your life. It’s a big commitment, no doubt, but the fringe benefits are undeniable! Here’s my grand dog, Benny, after an unwanted haircut! I say, WAG MORE, and BARK LESS! Nancy

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