Does Your Dog Benefit Your Health?

Posted by Kia Crawford on May 12th, 2012 in Body, Research, Spirit | No Comments

Walking through the halls of any Dogwood Forest community, you will probably come in contact with one of our friendly residents who walks on all fours. Okay, that seems a little strange, but what I’m referring to are our canine and feline friends. We have pets in all of our Dogwood Forest communities including Dogwood Forest Assisted Living in Dunwoody, Ga. because we know that over the years scientific evidence has supported pet therapy. Plus, they just make us feel good!mananddog

Health Benefits Associated with Pet’s

Pets can be helpful, loving companions and can uplift our spirits when we are down. Pets are known to aid in the healing process. They are also related to other positive outcome in the following areas:

Improved mood: For those of us who have pets, we know how good it feels for your pet to comfort us in their own way when we are bummed out. Research states that it only takes 15-30 minutes of time with your pet to feel less stress and anxiety. A hormone called cortisol, which is associated with stress and weight gain, is lowered. And serotonin that helps us to feel, as we say in the south, “peachy” is increased.

Maintainable Blood Pressure: There have been numerous studies supporting pets and blood pressure maintenance. Blood pressure can be increased due to stress. So the section above  may explain this claim.

Fights Depression: Pets are often use in many types of therapy including therapies for people suffering from depression. Often with depression, a patient feels may feel they they are lacking attention or understanding. Using your pets as a means to communicate and share your thoughts is a great mechanism to release built up pain. Your pet loves unconditionally and won’t  judge. Having to care for a pet can also give you a feeling of a higher purpose which could improve your self worth. Additionally, pets provide company to the owner resulting in less isolation.

Lower Chances of Stokes: Cats have been known to calm their owners. Often cat owners have a connection with their felines that is unmatched by other types of pet owners. The connection creates is calming for cat owners. Further, owning a cat has been linked to better circulation.

Strengthens the Immune System: Research shows children who are raised with pets in the home had fewer problems with allergies in adulthood than those who did not. Additionally, they have a higher levels of immune system chemicals which indicates a stronger activation in the immune system. Cats have also been linked to a reduction of asthma risk in children.

Helps with chronic pain: Certain types of dogs such as the mexican hairless dog known as a xolo produce a tremendous amount of body heat. They are being used in patients with fibromyalgi and other chronic pain diseases that reduces pain by heat.

Other research

Animals such as dogs and cats have been been used in several types of therapies for many conditions such as ADHD and autism. They have been known to calm individuals, especially younger people with these conditions. Pet’s provide responsibility. Pets are also helpful in releasing excitement among children who have ADHD and autism.  Pet’s are also great for sensory integration activities that are used with children with autism. Dogs have also been known to be sensitive to changes in blood sugar and will alert a diabetic owner of those changes.  There are also seizure dogs that are trained to watch patients who have epilepsy.

Indeed, dogs and cats are special creatures. Our dog at Dogwood Forest Assisted Living in Dunwoody is a cute little Yorkie that is great with our residents. You can see their faces light up when he prances in the room. Although there are findings supporting the claims of the health benefits of having a four legged friend, the most important to us is the unconditionally love we find in ours. That is enough evidence for us.