Tag Archives: ASPCA

9 ways adopting a pet is good for you

My buddy

My buddy

Did you know that November is “Adopt a Senior Pet Month”? And while Sam didn’t come from a shelter, he is considered a senior. I’d have snatched this sweetheart up in a heartbeat if he had been at a shelter. Scientific research has shown that pets improve the lives of their human companions. First hand experience has underscored that fact many times over for me. Check out these 9 ways adopting a pet isn’t just good for the pet; it’s good for you as well.

  • Pets owners have a greater level of self-esteem than not non-pet owners. Pet owners are often more extroverted and less fearful than non-pet owners.
  • Pet ownership can help reduce the risk of allergies. Contrary to popular belief, being exposed to pets early in life may actually decrease your risk of animal allergies later on. A  study from the department of bio-statistics and research epidemiology at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit suggests experiences in the first year are associated with a healthy status later in life and that early life pet exposure does not put children at risk of being sensitized to these animals later in life.
  • Pets can reduce negative feelings. Similar to how thinking about a good friend may help you feel less negative about a bad social experience, thinking about a pet may have a similar effect. Psychology Today conducted a study on 97 pet owners who were unknowingly subjected to a negative social experience. They were then asked to write about their best friend. The participants who wrote about their pet or best friend showed zero negative feelings and were equally happy after the negative social experience. The control group of non-pet owners however exhibited negative feelings.
  • Pets can reduce loneliness. In addition to boosting self-esteem, pets can reduce the level of loneliness we feel. One study found that people with pet dogs reported having social needs fulfilled as effectively by their pets as by their friends. Despite the ‘weird cat lady stereotype’ it appears people don’t rely on their pets more when human companionship is lacking. People don’t turn solely to their pets but rather enjoy their company in addition to their human friends.
  • Pets make us feel supported. Pet owners feel they receive as much support from their pets as they do from their families feeling closer to their pets when they also feel closer to important people in their life.
  • Pets make us want to stay healthier. It just stands to reason when you’re a pet owner you are more likely to move around than be a couch potato when you have a dog or cat begging for attention. Studies shows that pet owners tend to be more healthy and active than non-pet owners.
  • Less stress. The mere act of petting a dog or cat can reduce stress levels. Studies seems to support the fact that pets can help reduce stress and provide greater comfort than our friends or spouses. Their unconditional love and lack of judgment make pets the perfect anti-stress remedy.
  • Animal magnetism. Owning a pet can actually draw others to us and improve our human relationships. Pets are obvious conversation starters which may attract others to us.
  • Stabilize blood pressure. Sam and I have seen first hand how a patient who was petting him had a significant reduction in high blood pressure after just a few minutes. The difference was truly remarkable and even the nurse commented on the level of reduction.

Apart from all those health benefits, adopting a senior pet can often be easier. Think lack of teething on your favorite pair of shoes, or furniture legs. 🙂 They may well be pros at performing basic commands. Older pets tend to be more calm and can adapt easily with a new family routine. With an older pet, what you see is what you get. Senior pets seem to be grateful for the new opportunity at a loving home. Their personalities are well-formed and you can easily figure out their needs for exercise and attention.  Remember too, you’ll be saving a life when you adopt a senior pet.

So stop by your local shelter or ASPCA adoption center and consider rescuing a pet. No doubt you’ll soon be asking yourself, “who rescued whom?” When you visit your local shelter, don’t forget those senior pets.  They make great companions and invariably have so much to offer in return. You’ll improve the life of both your pet and yourself. ❤

Have you ever adopt a senior pet? What was your experience?

Hot Dog!!

Hot Dog Safety Tip

Hot Dog Safety Tip

No, I’m not talking about the common ballpark food, I’m talking about dogs left in cars, a recent phenomena which seems to have risen in epic numbers judging from social media reports.   This latest story however, proves I can no longer be silent about this terrible trend.  WHAT THE &#@% IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE???????

Sheesh, it’s bad enough when I see people taking dogs with them out to dinner in my neighborhood only to (a) leave the dog tied up to a parking meter or worse, (b) leave the dog in the car while they nosh and yuck it up over drinks and a meal in one of the many trendy restaurants in our ‘hood with their equally clueless friends…their poor pet languishing on hot sidewalks at the mercy of strollers rolling over paws and tails or getting tangled up with people walking the area.  Not to mention those dogs who act aggressively toward their manacled brethren (or vice versa) or the ones suffering alone in a car that is anywhere from 20-40 degrees hotter than the outside ambient temperature with no water or ability to control the heat.  This is animal cruelty people, plain and simple!

Then there are those who just can’t seem to help themselves by taking Fido shopping with them.  I mean who in their right mind takes a dog shopping???  I love Sam dearly and want him with me whenever possible, but I have the good sense to leave him at home when I go shopping.  It seems ridiculous to take him to the grocery store, yet I can’t tell you how many times I’ll dash off for some milk and see dogs sitting on the back riser baking in the sun or hanging their heads out of a partially cracked window desperately seeking relief.  Which prompts a terse visit with the store manager for an announcement over the PA for the owner to come forward.  I’ve left notes on windshields using not so lady-like language to those cretins and been seconds from calling the police when the idiot owner arrives and gives me the what-for about minding my own business.  Talk about doubling down on bad behavior.  Yikes!

Is it that people just don’t realize the consequences and exactly how hot it gets in a parked car?  On a 78-degree day, the temperature inside a vehicle can easily reach 100-120 degrees in mere minutes.  On a 90-degree day, it can reach 160 degrees in less than 10 minutes!  Dogs do not have the ability to cool themselves down as easily as us uprights and once overheated, can suffer organ damage, heatstroke, even death in as little as 15 minutes.

So the next time you’re out and about, please leave your pup at home. It’s more than a bad idea, it’s cruel and can be a chargeable offense. You might as well just put your pooch in a hot oven and bake cookies. It’s better to leave them at home when you have shopping and errands to run, unless you can always bring him inside with you.

What if you see a dog in a locked car and cannot find the owner?  The ASPCA recommends calling animal control or 911.  Maybe a few more broken windows will wake people up.  I know it seems ridiculous to have to say this, but spread the word and sign the Hot Car Pledge.  Surely the only reason people that do this is because just don’t realize the dangers associated with leaving dogs in cars.  And if your municipality doesn’t have laws prohibiting pets from being left unattended in parked cars, start lobbying for one.

Whew, I know I got really worked up over this issue, but when I see it happen or read yet another story about it, it’s hard for me not to get worked up about it.  Okay, now I’ll climb off my soapbox and enjoy a nice hot dog (but a vegetarian version :)) that is the quintessential summertime food and try to stay cool during the Dog Days of August. Just don’t get me started about runners with dogs on hot pavement!