Helping Pets

Top 10 Ways Pets Can Help Keep You Grounded

A couple of weeks ago I was having a really challenging few days at work. I am a veterinary technician for two different practices so I see and help a lot of patients. We happened to have some cases that were hard to deal with, a dog with pancreatitis, a cat that ate an unknown object that was making him vomit often, a puppy with a limp, the list seemed to go on and on. These were not quick fixes for the animals or for their “pawrents”. Each case that presented itself was just compounding the stress that was building up.

As much as you want to leave work at work, it does tend to follow you home. This is the way that it is sometimes. You worry about the patient that had to stay overnight to have fluid therapy, you hope that you communicated the best you could to the client the best options for their pet after the vet has told them the diagnosis. Sometimes it’s even a relief that you didn’t strangle your coworker because today for some reason their head was in the clouds.

We all have our stressors, the things that really cause our blood pressure to rise and for some to have more anxiety. Right now the world is in somewhat of a discombobulation. We don’t know what we are going to be able to do from one day to the next and that in itself is stressful.

So what do you do with all of this? You find the best way you can to deal with the stressors that come up. An article written in the UCLA Heath talks about “The healing power of pets”. In this article it stated that research is continually showing that regular interactions with dogs or any pets or animals can have immediate and long lasting impacts on your emotional well-being. So to show that this is true here is a top 10 list of ways pets can help keep you grounded:

  • They have a significant impact on your well-being. In a six week study from Mount Sinai Hospital, 42 cancer patients received daily 15-20 minute animal assisted visits. After the animal therapy most reported that they were more able to face their treatments with less anxiety.
  • Puppies almost instantly equal happiness. During my shift last week there was an hour stretch of appointments that just happened to be puppies. They were all healthy puppies so it didn’t matter what they were seeing us for at the time. What mattered was the feet that smelled like popcorn, the cute puppy kisses and those tails that wagged so much the puppies knocked themselves over. In that time frame, my mindset changed and I was able to take on the rest of the day
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  • No matter what your day is like, when you get home your pet is happy to see you.
  • You know that no matter what you have or haven’t done for your pet they love you unconditionally.
  • When you are dealing with elevated stress or anxiety contact with animals especially one’s own pet causes the oxytocin levels in the brain to increase which will counter the elevated levels of stress and anxiety.
  • Taking your pet out for a walk or even a hike, gets you outside, gets you moving, causing the serotonin levels to rise in your brain meaning you actually start to feel happy. You are also spending more time with your pet, whose main goal is to be around you, which equals joy for you both.
  • Pets give you a purpose, they have to be fed, walked, and taken care of. This in itself is very grounding
  • Pets are great security blankets. In my home the animals are allowed on the bed and furniture. This is great since animals love to be right next to you, thus you will be warm, and honestly, do you think someone would mess with a person that has 2-3 dogs surrounding them on their bed? I think not!
  • Having pets means there is not much extra cash laying around (not that that in itself is a good thing, but spending money on your pets is oh so much fun) which means you get to stay home more, meaning more time with your pets. A win, win!
  • They are great alarm clocks. They have a special part of their brain that alerts them seconds sometimes minutes before your alarm clock is actually suppose to go off. This is the time to pounce on your chest, lick your toes, meow so loudly the neighbors wake up…etc. They would hate for you to be late in feeding them or letting them out.

There are so many other reasons and ways that pets help keep you sane, grounded and loved. Time is limited though, and I highly doubt you want to spend all day with me, so just make sure you love on your furry friend, and find joy in that. These days there are unlimited things that can cause stress in our lives. Why not curtail those things with your pet by your side. Now if you’ll excuse me, my cat just sat on me and if I don’t respond quickly that meow is going to wake the dead. Until next time:

Remember this: “Some people talk to animals. Not many listen though. That’s the problem.” –A.A.Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

I’m not sick!

With all of the mandates coming out about closures and cancellations of things like sporting events to concerts to races for local charities it’s a wonder that we all don’t start feeling sick just by thinking about it so much.

Now I know the coronavirus (COVID-19) is a serious illness and people have passed away because of it so I am not taking the subject lightly. I will put this out there, please if you are feeling sick stay home and rest. Also on that note, and I really feel that I shouldn’t have to say this but WASH YOUR HANDS! This should be something we have been doing all along but I won’t get into that. Since it seems we are on the path of having to figure out things to do during this down time here is a list of some fun and/or interesting things to do to keep from getting bored:

  • There are so many fun board/card games out there. Some examples would be Mattel’s Uno card game, Telestrations made by USAopoly, Speed (a fast pace card game), The Game of Life by Hasbro, the list goes on and on
  • If you have pets, take them for a walk, or go for a drive to the beach or the mountains
  • Start cleaning all those places in your home that you swore one day you would clean. Start with the baseboards, work on the walls and doors and then maybe if you are feeling ambitious those windows have been looking a bit griming in the sunlight. If you have kids have them help you, turn on some upbeat music and get started.
  • Read a book
  • Talk to each other
  • Have a recipe you have been wanting to try? Go for it! Have fun! If you have kids, let them help.
Advocare.com/170139033 is a great place to get the Chocolate/Chocolate Peanut Butter Meal Replacement Shake Mix
  • Time to purge? Spring is getting closer so what a great time to clean out the closet, garage, pantry, medicine cabinet, etc. If it doesn’t fit, smells funny, has a bad expiration date or is a random idem that has been in your garage for a long time, get rid of it!

Get creative but have patience with yourself and especially if you have kids. I know at least around here school has been cancelled for a bit until this virus starts to get controlled. We have a long road ahead of us and our leaders (locally, and beyond) are doing what they can to keep us safe. Getting irritated only causes bad moods (believe me on this one). So all we can really do at this point is use our common sense, stay home if you feel sick, and go with the flow.

Running out to load up on flu medicine or toilet paper is only going to make your pantry full of those things. Do you really need 10 bottles of cold and flu medicine? All I am saying is common sense, use it. I am not putting you down if you really feel you need all that you have stock piled, but when is enough, enough?

So WASH YOUR HANDS, stay home if you feel sick, enjoy this extra time you have. Try some of the above suggested activities and above all stay safe. Until next time,

Matthew 6:27 Says: “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?”

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