Sunday, October 7, 2012

Why you should adopt a pet: Reducing Stress Part 5

Click here and listen while you read

Have you ever heard that pet owners live happier, longer lives?  If this is the case I should live to be 200+ as I have a zoo.

I'm going to talk about a few things before I give you the "reasoning" to why owning a pet will reduce stress in your life.  (I, of course, have to add that my puppy causes me much stress but it is the "good" stress and I wouldn't change it for anything).

There is nothing better than a loving family.  You come home at the end of the day and they are always happy to see you.  This works great as long as their day was stress free.  

No matter what happens during the day your dog or cat will always look at you as their hero.  

Imagine walking into the room and seeing this
(she is sleeping like this)

You want laughter in your life (which we all know is a great stress reducer):  Adopt a pet.  As with people they all have their own personalities, some more entertaining than I suggest adopting a bunch (just kidding, maybe).  

For example:  Our puppy loves to "talk" to the air; she will talk for about one minute to the air (still haven't figured this one out).  When she doesn't get her way she throws herself on the ground and pouts like a baby (so me, liking entertainment, will sometimes not let her have her way so I can watch the tantrum).  

All of my "pets" greet me at the door (and yes I have cats also).  When they hear the garage door go up...they are in the living room waiting to greet me.  I do like to think it's because they missed me so very much...but I think it is the treats they all get when I get home, but no matter what the reason they are happy to see me and no matter what happened during the is forgotten the minute I walk in the door.

I'm allergic.  (Whatever...hehe my husband told me that about cats when we met....not so much) If you are truly allergic talk to your Doctor....they have shots/pills/drops for this.  

So if I haven't convinced you....Here's what WebMD says about this subject:
Allergy Fighters
"The old thinking was that if your family had a pet, the children were more likely to become allergic to the pet. And if you came from an allergy-prone family, pets should be avoided," says researcher James E. Gern, MD, a pediatrician at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.
However, 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, he tells WebMD.
In his recent study, Gern analyzed the blood of babies immediately after birth and one year later. He was looking for evidence of an allergic reaction, immunity changes, and for reactions to bacteria in the environment.
If a dog lived in the home, infants were less likely to show evidence of pet allergies -- 19% vs. 33%. They also were less likely to have eczema, a common allergy skin condition that causes red patches and itching. In addition, they had higher levels of some immune system chemicals -- a sign of stronger immune system activation.  "Dogs are dirty animals, and this suggests that babies who have greater exposure to dirt and allergens have a stronger immune system," Gern says. 
Good for Mind and Soul
Pet owners with AIDS are far less likely to suffer from depression than those without pets. "The benefit is especially pronounced when people are strongly attached to their pets," says researcher Judith Siegel, PhD.
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.
People in stress mode get into a "state of dis-ease," in which harmful chemicals like cortisol and norepinephrine can negatively affect the immune system, says Blair Justice, PhD, a psychology professor at the University of Texas School of Public Health and author of Who Gets Sick: How Beliefs, Moods, and Thoughts Affect Your Health.
Studies show a link between these chemicals and plaque buildup in arteries, the red flag for heart disease, says Justice.
Like any enjoyable activity, playing with a dog can elevate levels of serotonin and dopamine -- nerve transmitters that are known to have pleasurable and calming properties, he tells WebMD.
"People take drugs like heroin and cocaine to raise serotonin and dopamine, but the healthy way to do it is to pet your dog, or hug your spouse, watch sunsets, or get around something beautiful in nature," says Justice, who recently hiked the Colorado Rockies with his wife and two dogs.
Good for the Heart
Heart attack patients w
ho have pets survive longer than those without, according to several studies. Male pet owners have less sign of heart disease -- lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels -- than non-owners, researchers say.
Dogs for the Aged
"Studies have sh
own 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.
Date Magnets
Dogs are
great for making love connections. Forget Internet matchmaking -- a dog is a natural conversation starter.
This especially helps ease people out of social isolation or shyness, Nadine Kaslow, PhD, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Emory University in Atlanta, tells WebMD.
"People ask about breed, they watch the dog's tricks," Kaslow says. "Sometimes the conversation stays at the 'dog level,' sometimes it becomes a real social interchange."

If you can't do this every day to reduce your stress

Do This...(Okay you don't need to adopt so many)

Please take the time to watch this short video and consider adopting a pet today.  Adopting a pet can save two lives; the pet and yours!!

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