Pets are good for your health!

By Megan Gabel

Suppose you could take a pill that would reduce your level of stress, lower your blood pressure, make you feel good, lengthen your life span, increase your chance of defeating the common cold, get you into good physical shape, all with little risk of side effects. Wouldn’t you jump at the opportunity? Come to the SPA and for no more than the cost of adopting (350 pesos for dogs, 300 pesos for cats), that magic pill can be yours! While providing a home for a homeless dog or cat obviously benefits the animal, the evidence is overwhelming that it benefits you, physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Did you know that simply petting a dog or cat can lower your blood pressure? On average, those who own a pet live two years longer than those who do not. Petting a dog or cat can increase your levels of an antibody that fights the common cold. Dog owners tend to be in better physical shape from the exercise they get when they take their dog for a walk. Walking your dog is a great way to work on weight control, build muscles and stamina, and enjoy the outdoors at the same time.

Cuddling a furry friend releases chemicals in your brain that make you feel good. Owning a dog reduces stress and anxiety because their owners feel safer. Even the smallest of dogs can yip a loud alert. Dogs tend to make you more social because their outgoing friendliness forces you to meet new people. Suddenly, you find you are meeting neighbors you didn’t know existed, but are out walking their dogs at the same time. Would you believe that in Japan, using dogs to meet people has become a thriving business? People actually rent a puppy for a walk, hoping they will meet someone new in the process. Pet owners feel less alone because they tend to confide in their pets, even though they don’t get any advice as a result. Alan Beck, director of the Center for Human-Animal Bond at Purdue University, found in a study that 97 percent of people talk to their pets. “The other three percent lied,” he quipped.

Peruse with albums of all our cats and dogs available for adoption (biographies, pictures, and videos). Visit the SPA, Monday-Saturday, 11am-2pm, Los Pinos 7, phone 152-6124. A pet in your life is so rewarding on many different levels.



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