Friday, February 14, 2014

Owning a Dog Is Linked to Reduced Heart Risk

REMINDER: In The Archive is all of the articles that I
have posted since I started this blog. There is TONS OF
INFORMATION there for you to learn from. It's the type
of information that not only saved my life...It also has
given me a better quality of life.


              The Solution For Disease FREE Health...

By Dr. Mercola

    More than 36 percent of Americans share their homes with a dog,
and 30 percent with a cat.1 This amounts to more than 70 million pet
dogs and 74 million pet cats in the US alone.

    This love affair with animals is nothing new; humans have been
sharing their lives with companion animals since ancient times, when
dogs, domesticated from wolves, may have been used for hunting and
protection, and cats, which were often regarded as sacred, helped
control pests.

    This mutually beneficial relationship continues today; although
most Americans no longer depend on dogs for hunting or cats to scavenge
mice, we take them in with abandon no less, and even look the other
way when they wake us up barking or meowing at 4 am, chew up our
slippers or scratch up our new furniture.


    Because they provide unconditional love in return, providing a
sense of friendship and comfort in a way that is unmatched, sometimes
even by humans. And as if you needed another reason to give your pet
a hug today, research is also increasingly showing that these furry
creatures offer proven benefits to your health.

American Heart Association Says Owning a Pet Benefits Your Heart

    According to a new statement released by the American Heart
Association (AHA), owning a pet, particularly a dog, may reduce your
risk of heart disease. The conclusion came following a review of
dozens of studies that showed pet owners were in better health than
non-pet owners. Highlights of the research included:

        People with dogs engaged in more walking and more physical
activity, and were 54 percent more likely to get the recommended
level of physical activity Pet ownership is probably associated with
a reduction in heart disease risk factors and increased survival
among patients

        Owning a pet is linked with lower blood pressure and
cholesterol levels, and a lower incidence of obesity Pets can have
a positive effect on your body’s reaction to stress, including a
decrease in heart rate, blood pressure and adrenaline-like hormone
release when a pet is present

    While many of the studies did not prove that owning a pet
directly reduces heart disease risk, and some of the benefits may be
due to the increased activity that dog owners get from walking with
or playing with their pets, the researchers concluded:

        Pet ownership, particularly dog ownership, is probably
associated with decreased CVD [cardiovascular disease] risk  [and]
may have some causal role in reducing CVD risk.

Pets Benefit Your Health at All Life Stages

    Pets have a way of appealing to very diverse groups, from children
to the elderly, families to singles. Perhaps this is because they
offer advantages for people at all stages of life:

        Children: Owning a pet has been linked to higher levels of
self-esteem as well as an ability to function better emotionally in
kids. Children who live with a dog during their first year of life
also have a lower risk of respiratory tract infections and ear
infections, and need fewer antibiotics, than children in non-pet

        This may be because dogs track more dirt and bacteria into
homes, and this increased exposure to “germs” helps strengthen the
immune system. Living with a cat was also linked to health benefits
among children.

        Adults: One of the most revealing studies on the health
benefits of pets for adults involved New York City stockbrokers who
were being treated with medications for high blood pressure. Those
who adopted a dog or cat were able to lower their blood pressure
significantly more, and felt calmer, than those who did not.

        Couples: Couples who own pets are less stressed by conflicts
and recover quicker when conflicts occur. Pet-owning couples also
reported more signs of happiness and sociability than non pet-owning

        Singles: Singles, as well as those who are widowed, divorced
or separated, are increasingly adopting pets because they provide
love and a sense of family.

        Elderly: Two of the biggest hurdles facing the elderly
are social isolation and inactivity. Owning a dog not only increased
the amount of activity, with dog owners taking twice as many daily
walks than non-owners, but also increased social interactions through
casual conversations that occurred during the daily walks. Elderly
dog owners also report being more satisfied with their social,
physical and
emotional states.

Do Cats or Other Pets Give Similar Benefits?

    Many of the health benefits of pets focus on dogs, with their
tendency to make us get out for more frequent walks as well as their
strong sense of emotional devotion to their humans. But cats, too,
offer benefits to your health. For starters, many of the above-mentioned
studies involved both dogs and cats; for instance, living with either a
dog or a cat is linked to lower rates of respiratory infections in kids,
and both dogs and cats helped lower blood pressure among stressed-
out stockbrokers.

    Cat owners, specifically, have even been found to have a 40 percent
lower risk of heart attacks than non-owners,10 and a cat’s purr, which
gives off low-frequency vibrations, has been called a “natural healing
mechanism” that may help strengthen and repair bones, relieve pain and
heal wounds.

    Studies involving birds, reptiles, horses and other pets are far
less common than those with cats or dogs. However it’s often the
emotional connection that leads to the decreased stress responses felt
by those when their beloved pet is present. So it stands to reason
that any pet with which you feel an emotional bond, whether furry,
feathered or finned, can benefit your health on multiple levels.

Health Considerations Shouldn’t Be Your Only Motivation for Getting
a Pet

    Pet owners do seem to have a health advantage over non-owners,
but you shouldn’t rush out to adopt a pet solely for this reason.
Obviously, having a pet comes with considerable demands on your time
and finances, so you must be sure you are fully able to care for a pet,
and committed to adding this animal to your family for its lifetime,
before proceeding. Even the AHA researchers noted:

Despite the likely positive link, people shouldn’t get a pet solely 
to reduce heart disease risk.

    However, if you are thinking about adding a pet to your family,
or if you’re a pet owner already, you can find a guide for bringing
home a new dog or cat, along with a treasure trove of additional
pet ownership information, at Mercola Healthy Pets.

    Every day at Mercola Healthy Pets, Dr. Karen Becker shares her
passion for the benefits of proactive, integrative and wellness-
oriented pet healthcare, and the value of alternative therapies that
are rarely, if ever, discussed in the conventional veterinary community.
Now countless animal lovers across the globe are learning about the
foundations of pet health and becoming empowered to take the best
possible care of their pets, and I urge you to join them if you’re
a pet owner, too.

Thank You Dr. Mercola

 God Bless Everyone & God Bless The United States of America.

Larry Nelson
42 S. Sherwood Dr.
Belton, Tx. 76513

Have a great day...unless you have made other plans.

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