Benefits of having a Furry Friend

Having a pet has several benefits.  I am all for furry friends.  I grew up with cats, Kandy and Ollie.  Love and miss them much!  When I lived with Jacq I got to hang with her cat, Frisco.  I don't have a pet currently, but I really want to get a cat. In my May issue of Women's Health there was an article titled "Your Body On Hanging With A Pet."  Here is what Laura Beil had to say...

Mood
Just half and hour with a pooch can trigger your noggin to release brain chemicals linked to happiness.  Your pup gets the same feel-good lift too!  Cats can also help ease the blues.  Kitty owners can be less lonely and have higher morale than those who don't have a cat - likely because cuddling with an animal can unleash oxytocin, the body's "love" hormone.

Stress
Being with a dog for five minutes can lower your levels of cortisol, a stress hormone.  The effect is so pronounced that, in one study, frazzled people said they felt if was more relaxing to be around their pets than their spouses.  It even works at the office: Research found that people who brought their dogs to work had lower stress levels throughout the day (meanwhile, levels rose among their canine-less colleagues).  
*The company I work for, Kimpton, is pet friendly.  Sometimes people bring their pets to work.  It would be interesting to see a kitty cat at work with me.

Pain Relief
Research suggests that spending time with animal pals may help ease your pain. 
*Can they help with cramps? :)

Fitness Level
Active mutts need, well, activity.  So it's no surprise that dog owners are more likely to be in shape.  They're also more likely to get the vigorous workouts the body needs.  There's more: Walking with a dog - versus cruising alone - has been linked to more social interactions, such as conversations with strangers (like, say, that cute guy at the park). 
*What about cats?  We had a cat leash that we put on Kandy and Ollie.  Kandy love it and walked around the yard.  When Ollie had it on he acted like it was so heavey.  He walked really low to the ground.  It was funny!

Heart
Petting an animal - or watching fish swim around in a tank - can lower your heart rate and blood pressure.  Pet aficionados may have also lower levels of heart-hurting cholesterol and fatty triglycerides.  The really great news?  If you life with a Fifi or Fido (or Kandy or Frisco), you may need fewer overall visits to the doctor and have a healthier ticker.  One study found that cat owners were less likely to die from heart disease than those who live sands felines.  Another found that dog owners were nine times more likely to be alive one year after a heart attache than those without dogs.



Sources for magazine article: Sandra Barker, PHD VCU; Ann Berger, MD NIH; Erika Friedman, PHD UMD

I don't have a cat right now, but I'm totally in love with Lil Bub.  I discovered Lil Bub on Facebook, because a Facebook friend of mine liked her page. Lil Bub has a website, a Twitter feed and a Facebook page.  She is a rescue cat that was the runt of the litter.  She has six toes and no teeth.  Lil Bub even has her very own YouTube Channel and show called Lil Bub's Big Show.  Check her out....soooooo cute!