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Ways That Pets Can Improve Your Mental Health

Ways That Pets Can Improve Your Mental Health

Sometimes we think that owning a pet is a great way to add to our family or that we are doing our pet a service by saving them from an uncertain future. These alone are great reasons to own a pet; however, there are even more reasons to join the ranks of pet ownership.

Pets can benefit you in so many ways:

* Mentally
* Emotionally
* Physically
* Socially

While these are all important ways a pet can benefit you, improving mental health is high on the list. There are several individuals who benefit mentally from owning a pet. Of these, the elderly are worth a special mention. For many elders, living alone and feeling isolated are just a part of what they are experiencing during this stage of their lives.

Depression, Anxiety, and Panic

We all know that feeling isolated can lead to many other ailments. Of course, deterioration of the physical body is one of the downfalls of not getting out and socializing. However, mental deterioration in the form of panic, anxiety attacks, and depression can set in for an elder who is isolated. Those feelings are alleviated with the company of a pet.

Having a pet can improve the mental status of an elder in many ways.

A Feeling of Vitality

An elder who owns a pet is more likely to have feelings of wellbeing, peace, and a sense of vitality. A feeling that there is someone who needs caring for and tended to can make a huge difference, especially one who may have just recently lost a spouse they were caring for at home.

When an elder loses a spouse, sometimes they lose their sense of purpose along with them. Owning a pet is a wonderful way to get that sense of purpose back into their lives.

Socialization

Feeling isolated is one of the worst things an elder can experience; however, owning a pet can alleviate that sense of isolation. There are still some groomers who come to the home to groom pets and this gives the opportunity for the elder to have someone to share socialization.

Walking a dog also offers the opportunity to get out and about for an elder who is capable of doing so. Sometimes hiring a young teen in the area to come, walk the dog, and visit with the elder is a win/win situation all the way around. The teen may pick up some community service work and a few dollars as well.

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Top Five Ways a Pet Can Improve Your Health

Top Five Ways a Pet Can Improve Your Health

If you have ever owned a domesticated animal and sadly experienced the loss of that pet, you can relate to how close a domesticated animal can become to you. When someone says that a domesticated animal is part of his or her family, this is true.

A domesticated animal brings so much to our lives and the lives of our family, yet we can sometimes overlook just how much.

While a domesticated animal brings unconditional love to us, there are many other real and tangible benefits along the way as well.

There are many ways a pet can improve your health

There are mental benefits, physical benefits, social benefits, and emotional benefits.

1. Improve Mental Health

Studies are proving more and more that domesticated animals improve our mental health status. Many years ago, pets were brought into the psychiatric wards to help calm patients, as well as encourage patients to cooperate. Today, we know that pets can improve our moods drastically.

Have you ever felt down and out and had your pet bring you his ball to play? This is a perfect example of how a domesticated animal can cause an automatic shift in your mood and get you out of a slump. Unconditional love offered by a domesticated animal can also cause positive chemicals to release to the brain, thereby averting negative stressor chemicals (such as cortisol) found in the flight or fight syndrome. When positive occurrences are experienced, mental health improves greatly.

2. Improve Emotional Status

Pets greatly improve the emotional status of their owners. Have you ever owned a domesticated animal, let’s say a dog for example, and the dog automatically came over to you when you were crying and licked away your tears? Studies show that dogs are innately responsive to the emotions of their owners and are therefore readily available to respond to them. Pet-owners are shown to be happier in studies than individuals who do not own pets.

3. Assist with Physical Health

Research is showing that pet-owners are healthier than non-pet owners. Pet-owners have a reduced risk of heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. Pets, especially dogs, are also able to assist and alert owners that have certain medical conditions such as diabetes or seizure disorder.

4. Help with Socialization and Fitness

A domesticated animal can aid in the defense of depression, anxiety, and panic. Having an animal to socialize with is an excellent way to get out and about for many individuals. Socialization for your domesticated animal is vital to its wellbeing and that means that you have to go along for the ride. Walking, jogging, running, hiking, are all excellent ways to keep in shape just as swimming and bicycling is. There are many pet owners who socialize with their pets in this way, enabling the pet owners to stay fit and trim along with their furry friends.

5. Spiritual Benefits

There is no better way to become more spiritual than when you reach out to help another. Reaching out to help another does not necessarily mean just to your human counterparts. Reaching out to your pet and playing, bathing, walking, caring, and just cuddling with them is an excellent way to become more spiritual. When you take care of a pet that is helpless and unable to help themselves, what more spiritual act is there than that?

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pet pet charities Pets

The Benefits of Giving Back to Pet Charities

The Benefits of Giving Back to Pet Charities

We all know the benefits of giving to charity, whether it is by check or by our presence at a volunteer event. However, did you know that there are so many hidden benefits to giving back to domesticated animal charities?

We do not always see how our dollars or our time can affect the lives of others; however, helping out with pets is a sure-fire way to help others and gain some benefits for you as well.

Helping Pets

There are many ways to help pets: donating your money, of course, and donating your time at animal shelters. Another amazing way to help pets is to match available pets with potential homes. Matching an available domesticated animal with a new family has great rewards and benefits.

Pet adoption

When you see a domesticated animal through the adoption process and place it in a loving home, you have helped two-fold. You have helped a family gain a new family member and you have helped save a pet from an unfortunate outcome.

Simply advocating on behalf of a pet by passing on vital information on spaying and neutering can help control the domesticated animal population.

Helping Humans

There are so many ways that a domesticated animal helps a human being. First of all, there is companionship. Having a pet means that it becomes a new part of the family.

Aside from companionship and becoming a new member of the family, pets offer great strength to humans on a different level. Sometimes, pets assist humans with the day-to-day living that most healthy individuals take for granted.

When you volunteer your time to train an assistance dog, an alert dog, or a seeing-eye dog, you take time to help a fellow human being. Dogs can assist humans in so many ways other than just for companionship:

* Autism
* Diabetic assist
* Heart assist
* Depression
* Anxiety and panic
* Hearing dogs

When you take the time and trouble to volunteer to help pets, you take the time and trouble to help other human beings.

The benefits and rewards are numerous. You get to save a domesticated animal from an unfortunate existence; you get to help other human beings with health (both mental and physical) ailments. However, most of all, you get to feel good.

Bottom line is that when you give back, you feel good. Feeling good through giving back radiates from you to others and others can notice that vibe. It is a win/win situation all the way around – both for you, the pets, and the other human beings you serve.

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Social Benefits of Children Owning Pets

Social Benefits of Children Owning Pets

Pets are a great addition to your home. They offer many social benefits to kids. Whether you have one child or more than one, a pet can increase your quality of life.

What is it about domesticated animals that make them so valuable? You see them in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. People seem to improve health when domesticated animals are around.

Pets

Children can also profit from living with a pet. Physically, they can improve their health by walking their dog and spending time playing outside. There are also socialization skills that can be learned from exposure to a pet.

So, what are the benefits to children? Here are a few reasons to own a pet.

* Conversation starter – It can be awkward making new friends. With a pet, there is something with which to ease into a conversation. Kids can break the ice by talking about your child’s new pet.

* A way to meet new people – People with pets are more likely to talk to each other. If you pass with a dog in the park, you will say hello and might even stop for a few words about your animals as they sniff each other out. This is a good social experience for kids of all ages.

* Offer companionship – For families with one child, having no siblings can hinder some social interaction. Having a pet offers companionship to your child. They have someone to confide in and talk to. Pets are quite sensitive to the attitudes and needs of their owners.

* Understand various forms of communication – Since animals can’t talk, it is up to the owners to learn to communicate with them. This can increase their understanding of non-verbal communication between people which can help them in all types of social situations.

* Gain self-confidence – Caring for something other than themselves can increase their belief in their own abilities. Self-confident kids are more productive in school and in social situations. Domesticated animals give unconditional love which bolsters a kid’s esteem.

* Reduce stress – Stress is not just an adult condition. Children experience stress as well. Owning a pet can lower blood pressure and cholesterol. During test-taking time or social problems, a pet can ease any discomfort.

* Sounding board – When you need to talk, your pet will be right there. They exhibit unconditional love to their owners, reinforcing that they care. And, domesticated animals don’t talk so they won’t reveal any secrets.

* Learning to play – Domesticated animals, especially dogs, have a real need for exercise. Kids can run, laugh, tumble and cuddle with their pet. Even if they are an only child, they can learn how to share and take turns by spending time with their pet.

Pets can help your child to socialize better from an earlier age.

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natural remedies

Natural Remedies for Pets

Natural Remedies for Pets

If you have a pet, then you treat it like a part of the family. And, as a part of the family, you want the best care for them that you can find. Have you ever thought of natural remedies for your pets?

Even medicine for pets can have side effects. Just like humans, we want to minimize the side effects while they are getting well. One way to do that for your pet is to opt for natural remedies to start with.

Maybe you don’t know of any natural remedies. We are going to help you with that. But, check with your veterinarian first before using any non-medicinal treatment.

Pets Remedies

* Skunk smell – Pets like cats and dogs can get into a lot of trouble while exploring in the woods. And, they do like messing with skunks. When your pet gets sprayed they will be stinky. One way to help get rid of the smell is vinegar and water. Combine vinegar and water together and rub it all over your pet. Continue to pour it on and rub in until the odor is gone. Wear gloves to keep the skunk smell off of you.

* Ear mites – It is important to keep the ears of pets clean. If you do notice mites in their ears, apply a mixture of Vitamin E and almond oil. Squeeze a few drops into their ear and massage it in. To be sure you have covered the entire ear, use cotton tip applicators to clean all areas of mites. Applying mineral oil can help keep mites away.

* Bad breath – Yes, pets can have bad breath. To stop the odor, brush their teeth. Also, feed them carrots (if carrots are part of their normal diet) to help clean their teeth.

* Itchy skin – Stop the urge to itch by giving your pet a bath in cool water. Add Epsom salt to the water to further help your pet find relief.

* Insect bites – Pet skin can become red and inflamed from insect bites. To stop them from scratching, make a paste of baking soda and water. Apply that to the affected areas.

* Urinary infection – Any infection like this is caused by bacteria. One way to kill off some of the bacteria is to increase the acidity in the urine. Feed your pet citrus juices like orange and cranberry (good for humans too) to help reduce their discomfort and the infection.

* Car sickness – Don’t feed your pet before travel. Food in the belly and motion can make them sick. Also, try putting your pet in the front seat. When they can see where they are going they can orient better. Crack the window to let in fresh air as well.

After using your remedies, always visit the veterinarian for follow up to see if your methods are working.

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Pets Teaching Kids Responsibility

Pets Teaching Kids Responsibility

Here’s the situation: Your child wants a pet. But, should you get them one? Having a pet in the home can be one way of teaching your kids responsibility.

Kids like cute things and many domesticated animals are cute. It shouldn’t surprise you when they ask for one. You might get a request for a cat, dog, rabbit, horse, iguana, lizard, turtle or another animal. Your first reaction might be to say no, but instead, consider how it may impact your child if they had the experience of owning a pet.

There are a few things to consider. First, choose a pet that is age appropriate. Small children are not mature enough to learn to take care of a puppy, for example. You will end up doing most of the work. Instead, find a pet that can keep their interest while they learn all about it.

Second, know the benefits of kids and domesticated animals. Kids can learn to care for something other than themselves. Domesticated animals teach selflessness and empathy. Kids learn to put the needs of something else over their own.

Domesticated animals also teach social behavior. For many kids, pets are their first friends. Also, a pet can help them make more friends by interacting with others who own pets. It’s a win-win situation for kids and parents as long as you can take on the responsibility of teaching your kid to care for their pet. It takes patience but it will be worth it in the long run.

Pets

Here are a few ways to help your kids get started.

* Take a class – Local community centers, pet stores, and animal shelters may hold classes to help others learn how to care for domesticated animals. This is useful before you buy the pet to gauge your child’s interest in certain pets.

* Visit pet stores – Let kids see pets and hold them. Some kids like the idea of pets but not the thought of handling them. For those kids, starting with a pet that they can’t touch like fish might be a better choice.

* Show them what to do – Before kids can learn to care for their pets, they need to see what it involved. If you have fish, show them how to feed the fish, clean the aquarium and change the water. It may take several times (if you have small kids) but they will catch on.

* Discuss the consequences of not caring for them – When they forget to feed or clean the cages, discuss what will happen: odor, germs and more of a mess than you originally would have had.

* Be backup – Watch your child care for their domesticated animals, but know that you are back up in case they forget to do anything.

Children can learn to care for domesticated animals at any age. Start with animals that don’t need much care and graduate up as your kid demonstrates maturity and interest.

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