Pets Are Magical

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Hello Lovelies:

I am a huge animal lover! I grew up with some wonderful pets, worked as a Zookeeper Apprentice in my teen years and even spent quite some time working in the field of pet nutrition. These days I have a few beautiful fur children and at the end of a long day I love a good snuggle with my cat. There is no comparison to the joy that animals can bring into your life. But did you know that your little bundles of fur (or scales, or whatever else) are actually amping up your health and potentially adding some extra years to your life? I know… MIND. BLOWN!

The magic of cats is absolutely incredible. You might think that your attention hogging, pat hungry fur child is selfishly concocting a plan for world domination and you are little more than a pawn in their games. While I can neither confirm nor deny this (I have often wondered myself), there are definitely some amazing personal benefits to welcoming a cat into your home. A cat’s purr is an awesome healing mechanism that acts as a method of physical therapy and can even help with their bone density and ability to heal. Studies have shown that these benefits may also be transferred to you! Purr vibrations can help muscle and bone health, relieve stress and symptoms of dyspnea, decrease blood pressure, lower the risk of heart attacks, and heal infections. It’s no wonder that this animal is a huge internet celebrity (or was that part of their world domination plan all along?)

Man’s best friend is aptly named. Studies have shown that patting a dog lowers blood pressure and increases feelings of relaxation. One scientific study discovered that simply meeting your dog’s gaze can increase levels of oxytocin, a hormone that helps us form bonds with others and feel more positive. Dog owners who have suffered from heart attacks are more likely to survive the year following their attack, regardless of its severity. Dogs arguably change your lifestyle more than any other companion animal, making their owners more active. This leads to a stronger heart, lowered cholesterol, improved sleep and all the other wonderful benefits of regular exercise. Playing with your dog helps to decrease the stress hormone cortisol and increase the almighty, mood balancing serotonin. No wonder it’s impossible not to feel elated when you’re running around with your dog at the park.

No need to worry if you have allergies or are unable to welcome a furry friend into your home. It’s not just dogs and cats that have a lot of awesome to offer your health. Have you ever noticed that dentists and other doctors often have aquariums in their waiting rooms? This is because of an effect known as “Aquarium Therapy”. Aquariums have a soothing and relaxing quality that helps lower stress levels, reducing blood pressure and decrease feelings of anxiety. Patients of doctors who have aquariums in their waiting rooms often need less pain medication, due to the calming, hypnosis like effects of Aquarium Therapy’s magic.

It doesn’t matter if you own a cat, dog, fish or lizard; all animals provide us with physical, mental and spiritual health benefits. Pets aid in the treatment of depression, donate to our cardiovascular health, and even decrease our yearly visits to the doctor by 15 to 20 percent! Pets make us healthier and more active, bring so much joy and happiness into our lives and their unique personalities make them wonderful additions to our families.

If you do plan on welcoming a pet into your home I encourage you to do plenty of research to make sure that you are making a well informed choice. An animal companion is a long term commitment, and while they are wonderful members of the family with so much to offer, they require a lot of time, money and care. With approximately 7.6 million animals entering shelters every year in the United States alone, it is imperative that we all make a commitment to making our homes fur-ever homes if we wish to be pet parents. Please spay and neuter your pets and don’t forget to support your local animal shelter. There are so many homeless animals that are in need of a loving, forever home.

Merry Christmas! Have a wonderful holiday with your family, furry or otherwise.

Sara

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About Ms. Health-Esteem

Sara Flanagan is a health and lifestyle blogger and the creator of www.mshealthesteem.com, where she shares her story of being diagnosed with Graves Disease, a chronic autoimmune disease, and empowering herself to do everything she can to thrive in spite of her diagnosis. She writes articles on self-love, acceptance, wellness and nutrition. Join her tribe today and share in the journey.

Posted on December 24, 2014, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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