Pets Are Good Medicine

New research proves the health benefits of pets.

Pets are good for our hearts—emotionally as well as physically. A new Japanese study found that pet owners with chronic diseases had healthier hearts and lived longer than those without pets. And it didn’t matter what type of pet, be it furred or finned.

For the study, researchers at Kitasato University in Kanagawa, Japan, monitored 191 people with diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol over 24 hours. Study participants wore a heart monitor for an entire day and night. The results of the study are published in the American Journal of Cardiology.

And in another recent study, dogs have been found to lower pain and stress levels for patients with chronic pain. The study was conducted by researchers in pain clinics over a two month period. Therapy dogs and their handlers were present in the waiting rooms. The results found that chronic pain patients reported less depression and fatigue and had lower levels of pain when they waited for their outpatient appointment with a dog companion and its handler compared with those who opted to wait without company. Results of the study were published in the January 13 issue of Pain Medicine.

Be Pet Prepared

Are you ready to help your pets in a disaster? Lisa Towell, an animal disaster responder is offering a free presentation on how to prepare for the next big earthquake, wildfire or flood. The talk takes place on Wednesday, March 7 from 7 to 8 p.m. at the Milpitas Public Library. Towell will show useful techniques for taking care of your pets and you’ll leave with a list of supplies for an animal disaster kit. For more details, visit the events section of the Humane Society Silicon Valley website.

Pet of the Week

This week’s pet in need of a forever home is Christa, a three-year-old French bulldog. True to her breed, she’s sweet and cuddly and enjoys being with people. She’s also good with other dogs. She has had some scarring in both her ears due to chronic ear infections, so her ears will need to be watched.

For more information about Christa and other dogs available for adoption, visit the Nike Animal Rescue Foundation (NARF) website.

About this column: This is a weekly column about your pets, trends, people and places.


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