Puppy days …

The benefits of owning a pet …

Jessie; The New Puppy

Meet nine week old Lily, Coco, Jessie, Annie or Lola … ?
Whilst the family continue to debate puppy’s name, the springer spaniel is getting to know her way around the house, finding things to have a chew at and barking at the cat. She’s been with us one day and brought so much love, it’s impossible to measure.

Check out Oprah Winfrey’s website: http://www.oprah.com/spirit/Pets-and-Health-Benefits-Why-Keeping-A-Pet-is-Good-For-You for the whole of this amazing information about the health benefits of owning or looking after a pet:

‘If you’ve ever loved a pet, you know the kind of joy animals can bring. But I’m especially excited about the mounting evidence that they can improve our physical well-being, too. (Former president of the Mayo Clinic staff, Edward Creagan, MD, is so convinced of the healing powers of pets, he has literally prescribed them for a third of his cancer patients.) Here’s a look at how your health might benefit from an animal companion.’

Lower Blood Pressure.
The simple act of petting an animal—or even gazing at an aquarium—results in a drop in blood pressure. And pets can have a longer-term impact on the cardiovascular system, too, as researchers discovered when they tracked 24 hypertensive stockbrokers who adopted a cat or dog. Pet ownership blunted the blood pressure response to mental stress; the traditionally prescribed hypertension drug did not.

A Stronger Heart.
Researchers who followed 369 heart attack survivors in the landmark Cardiac Arrhythmia Suppression Trial found that dog owners had only a 1 percent chance of dying within a year, compared with a 7 percent chance for subjects who didn’t have a dog. A newer study, from 2009, found that people who had owned a cat at some point in their lives were 37 percent less likely to die of a heart attack than those who hadn’t.

Greater Calm for Alzheimer’s Patients
And for their families. Much of the burden of this disease (which afflicts one in eight people 65 and older) falls on patients’ relatives, and I’ve seen it crush the spirit of even the most loving caretakers. But studies have revealed that Alzheimer’s patients have fewer anxious outbursts if an animal is present, and research shows that caregivers can feel less burdened as well, especially if the animal is a cat (perhaps because cats require little additional care).

A study published in the Western Journal of Nursing Research found that even pet fish can help by facilitating healthy weight gain among Alzheimer’s patients, who often suffer from a lack of adequate nutrition. In the presence of an aquarium, patients who paced tended to sit still longer, while patients who were typically lethargic became more attentive. Both effects led to better eating at mealtimes.

Read more: http://www.oprah.com/spirit/Pets-and-Health-Benefits-Why-Keeping-A-Pet-is-Good-For-You/2#ixzz2g2kucmBg

Remember, owning a pet is a long-term physical and financial commitment.
If you are considering having a pet to care for, think about the type of pet which would most suit you, your family, your location, mobility and wallet or purse!
Be aware of possible vet bills and take advice on pet insurance.

Gillian.