Home  >  Carol LeBeau  >  Carol's Health Journal | 16. March 2011-Be

Pets

16. March 2011

Last week I was home sick. Coughing, sneezing, body aches. It was miserable. I didn’t have the energy to do anything… couldn’t exercise and felt as useless as “teats on a boar hog!” (Sorry. You can’t take the “Iowa” out of the girl.)

Well, that’s just when “Little Girl” does her best work! “Little Girl” is the chubby, multi-colored tabby cat Tom and I adopted several years ago. When I’m sick or down… I swear my tubby tabby considers it her personal mission to make me well! Whether lying in bed or crashed on the couch, that darn cat will nuzzle and nudge… then set up shop on my lap, purring like a turbo-prop! Honestly, I can’t help but smile as she settles in keeping watch over me as I drift in and out of sleep.

My sweet kitty doesn’t care if the house is clean, the laundry caught up or even how I smell! She just loves me, and she’s in it for the long haul. She calms me down and helps me relax. Honestly, I can’t imagine life without my pets.

And I’m not alone. Millions of pet owners can attest to the fact their pets make them feel better. And now modern medicine agrees. Our critters really are good for our health! Literally, a “pet” prescription can lower your blood pressure, ward off depression and boost immunity.

Consider these health facts:

  • Owning a dog increases the odds for survival in people who’ve had a heart attack from one in 15 to one in 87.
  • People with pets have been found to have lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels when compared to those without pets… even when matched for weight, diet and smoking habits.
  • Studies n women undergoing stress tests have shown the presence of a dog had more of an effect on lowering blood pressure levels than the presence of friends. Wow!
  • Pet owners with AIDS are far less likely to suffer from depression than those without pets.
  • Stockbrokers who had dogs or cats in their offices while doing stressful tasks had smaller increases in blood pressure than those without animals present.
  • People who own pets often have better physical health due to the need to exercise and care for their pets.
  • The use of prescription drugs and the overall cost of caring for patients in nursing homes dropped when companion animals became part of the therapy.
  • People prone to seizures report their dogs can sense the onset of a seizure before they can. Some dog owners report their dogs sniffed out the presence of certain cancer cells. Amazing!

My friend, Vicki, says walking her cute little terrier mix even improves her social life! Makes sense. Everyone stops to say hi to “Buddy!” He’s a great conversation starter!

 

 

Contact Carol by emailing her at Carol@palomarhealth.org.