November 18, 2015 Uncategorized

Why You Should be Thankful for Your Pets This Thanksgiving

Why You Should be Thankful for Your Pets This Thanksgiving

I was thinking about what I was going to be especially thankful for this turkey day, and of course pets popped into my mind. Here are my thoughts about why I am thankful for pets.

Pets Keep You Healthy
The title of a recent Harvard Medical School Special Health Report, “Get Healthy, Get a Dog,” says it all. The Harvard report amalgamates data from a number of studies to create a compelling case for how having a dog improves both your physical and mental health. The Surgeon General of the United States is on the dog ownership bandwagon as well because he knows walking your dog is good for you and good for your dog as well. I would argue that any pet can make you healthier by giving you someone else to think about, to care for and to encourage daily activity.

Pets Enrich Your Life
Think about how happy your pets make you feel. They enthusiastically greet you at the door and dance about while you hang up your coat and change clothes. Their antics put a smile on your face and a few hundred photos on your Instagram account. They are generous, bringing gifts of freshly caught mice, dead birds and drool-coated tennis balls. They introduce you to a whole host of people you might not otherwise get to know through their friends at the dog park, grooming salon, pet store and of course, the veterinarian’s office. If I were sick and in the hospital, I would be thankful for the visit of a specially trained therapy dog, cat, horse, rabbit, guinea pig, llama, alpaca, bird, pig or rat, and their handler who generously gives of their time and pet.

Pets Help You Get Things Done
You might think your pet makes more work for you – shredding toilet paper, pulling the laundry out of the basket and scattering it around your apartment, tracking kitty litter everywhere, or digging a pit the size of Texas in your beautiful green lawn. But for some, their animals are more than just pets; they are essential companions. Take for example the guide dog facilitating their person’s daily activities or the dog trained to detect low blood sugar in diabetic patients, preventing a hypoglycemic attack. Children and adults with certain psychiatric disorders benefit from specially trained assistance dogs which calm them and help them refocus on their daily activities. These assistance dogs allow people with disabilities to lead more normal lives, something clearly worth being thankful for. 

Pets Are Lifesavers
Many pet owners claim their pet has saved their life just by being there during the loss of a loved one, a divorce or a workplace downsizing. But we should all be thankful specially trained dogs can sniff out missing children, explosives and victims of natural disasters. These days, dogs are being trained to sniff out both ovarian cancer and prostate cancer with astounding precision. And since it was recently Veterans Day, don’t forget to be thankful for the military dogs in our country’s service, both at home and abroad. Here are some photos of these heroic animals in action.

If you have a special animal in your life, you have a lot to be thankful for at Thanksgiving. So give your pet an extra hug and big kiss and create a special turkey day meal for everyone to enjoy.

Tags: AMC, amcny, animal medical center, animals, ann hohenhaus, cats, dogs, pets, thanksgiving, turkey day, veterinary,

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