According to a CBS news report this week, there is a growing body of evidence that having a pet has positive
benefits for your health. These findings are certainly not surprising to our fellow Muttropolitans who all agree that the non-judgemental, unconditional love a pet provides is a more powerful elixir than any pharmaceutical out there (well…more powerful than most of them)!
Studies document that holding and caressing an animal provides benefits
such as relaxation, lower blood pressure, improved long- and short-term
memory, and sensory stimuli.
"It's the human-animal bond," said Veterinarian R.K. Anderson, who helped to found CENSHARE at the University of Minnesota more than 30 years ago.
CENSHARE (Center to Study Human Animal Relationships and Environments) is a center dedicated to supporting and collecting research on the many
positive effects pets have on people.
"After a long day of work or a crazy travel week, there is nothing more
wonderful than coming home to the positive energy of my two dogs," says
La Jolla, CA resident Carmel Gouveia, mom to poodles Olivia (pictured above) &
Chocolate. "Oh, it's great to see my husband too, of course."
"Petting them is like a form of meditation… I can feel an immediate sense of calm."
If you are interested in sharing your pets unconditional love with others who need a furry pick-me-up, consider enrolling your pet in an animal therapy program to help your pet spread the love. Check out The Pet Encounter Therapy program at Helen Woodward Animal Center, which brings the unconditional
love and tactile benefits of animals to people in facilities such as
abused children's shelters, hospitals, psychiatric facilities, and