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 senior centers.