Our Site staff is proud to bring you information that you can trust. Pet health is at the core of everything we do, and our writers strive to produce veterinarian-approved and engaging information that you can use to keep your pet happy and healthy for years to come. Of course, the real power of this information comes when you discuss it with your own veterinarian. Only by utilizing these resources in conjunction with your pet’s doctor can you fully realize the benefits.
Companion animals may improve heart health by lowering blood pressure and regulating the heart rate during stressful situations. In a 2002 study, researchers measured changes in heart rate and blood pressure among people who had a dog or cat, compared to those who did not, when participants were under stress (performing a timed math task). People with a dog or cat had lower resting heart rates and blood pressure measures at the beginning of the experiment than non-pet owners. People with a dog or cat were also less likely to have spikes in heart rates and blood pressure while performing the math task, and their heart rates and blood pressure returned to normal more quickly.They also made fewer errors in their math when their pet was present in the room.  All these findings indicated that having a dog or cat lowered the risk of heart disease, as well as lowering stress so that performance improved.
A similar study found that having your dog in the room lowered blood pressure better than taking a popular type of blood pressure medication (ACE inhibitor) when you are under stress.  Other research has indicated that the simple act of stroking a pet can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol. 
Children’s exposure to companion animals may also ease anxiety. For example, one study measured blood pressure, heart rate, and behavioral distress in healthy children aged 3 to 6 at two different doctor visits for routine physicals. At one visit, a dog (unrelated to the child) was present in the room and at the other visit the dog was absent. When the dog was present, children had lower blood pressure measures, lower heart rates, and less behavioral distress.  However, research on the health benefits of child and animal interaction is still limited. Further research is needed on how pets influence child development and specific health outcomes.
Findings suggest that the social support a pet provides can make a person feel more relaxed and decrease stress.  Social support from friends and family can have similar benefits, but interpersonal relationships often cause stress as well, whereas pets may be less likely to cause stress. The social support provided by a pet might also encourage more social interactions with people, reducing feelings of isolation or loneliness. For example, walking with a dog has been found to increase social interaction, especially with strangers, compared to walking without a dog. 
Among elderly people, pet ownership might also be an important source of social support that enhances well-being. In one study, elderly individuals that had a dog or cat were better able to perform certain physical activities deemed “activities of daily living,” such as the ability to climb stairs bend, kneel, or stoop take medication prepare meals and bathe and dress oneself. There were not significant differences between dog and cat owners in their abilities to perform these activities. Neither the length of time of having a dog or cat nor the level of attachment to the animal influenced performance abilities. Companion animals did not seem to have an impact on psychological health but researchers suggested that a care-taking role may give older individuals a sense of responsibility and purpose that contributes to their overall well-being. 
A large German study collected pet information (dog, cat, horse, fish, bird or other pet ownership) from over 9,000 people at two different times (1996 and 2001). The survey included a number of health, economic, and labor issues, so that respondents would not realize the researchers’ interest in a link between pets and health. Researchers found that people who said they had a pet in both 1996 and 2001 had the fewest doctor visits, followed by people who had acquired a pet by 2001 the group of people who did not have a pet at either time had the highest number of doctor visits.  Similarly, a study of women in China found that those who were dog owners had fewer doctor visits, took fewer days off sick from work, and exercised more often than non-dog owners. 
Research on allergies and asthma is mixed. Some studies show that having a cat might increase allergen sensitivity, while others show it might protect against cat allergies. Having a dog might not influence or might protect against specific dog allergies.  A 2013 study found that mice were protected against allergies when they were exposed to dust that came from homes with dogs.  The researchers discovered that the protective effect was due to a certain type of gut bacteria that is often present in people with dogs. More research is needed on the connection between allergies, asthma, and pets, but it is possible that the impact of having pets on allergies may depend on the age of the person at the time they are exposed to an animal as well as the type of pet. For example, 6 and 7 year old children who lived with a bird during their first year of life were more likely to have respiratory symptoms like wheezing compared to children who did not have a bird in the home as an infant.  Likewise, researchers say that the timing of when a pet is in the family is also important. Children with dogs or cats in their home during the first year of life are less likely to develop allergies in childhood. 
As is true with any relationship, some human-pet relationships are likely to be more rewarding than others. Some people are more attached to their pets than others and those feelings could influence the impact of the pet on the person’s health. Other factors such as gender and marital status may play a role. For example, one study found that dog ownership was associated with lower rates of depression among women, but not men, and among single individuals but not married people. So, while pet ownership might have a positive impact on well-being for some people, it doesn’t affect everyone the same way. 
Leaving your pet at home is not an easy part of any pet parent’s day. Many pet parents have full-time jobs and other obligations that keep them away from the house for extended periods of time, which is simply a part of everyday life. However, pet parents should take caution in leaving their pet’s home all day. The length at which you should leave your dog at home is a matter of the individual dog.
That being said, there are a few things to keep in mind when keeping your dog at home for extended periods of time: including, age of your dog, amount of exercise they are given, and overall behavior.
Firstly, you should consider the age of the dog. If your dog is under 18 months, and they are still learning to be potty trained, you are more likely to set them up for potty training success if you are home frequently to let them out. If your dog is older, they might be more comfortable staying at home for long periods of time.
Secondly, consider the amount of exercise you provide your dog both before and after leaving the house for the day. If your dog isn’t provided an opportunity to stretch their legs, they are more likely to be bored, destructive, or even obese.
Lastly, if your dog is not yet used to you being away from the house, they might start to become destructive. If this is the case, you may have to start with being away for short periods of time and work your way up to being gone for a full day. This process will take a lot of patience and some creativity on your part. The best thing you can do is make your absence a positive experience by entertaining them with the following options.
1) Petcube: The Petcube is an awesome new pet camera that allows you to interact, talk and play with your pet while you are away. Their technology includes a two-way audio stream through a built-in microphone and speaker, and a laser pointer for entertainment. To learn more about Petcube, visit their website here.
2) Pet Tutor: The Pet Tutor is a smart wireless training game system for your pet. It gives you the ability to reward your dog for good behavior through the Internet. To learn more about the Pet Tutor, visit their website here.
3) Adopt Another Pet: If you have one dog at home and you believe that would benefit from the companionship of another dog or cat, you should definitely look into adding to your family. However, it is important not to use another pet as a treatment for your dog’s separation anxiety. If your dog is suffering from separation anxiety, it is recommended that you work on this before getting another dog.
4) DogTV: DogTV provides your dog with entertainment while you are away. All of the programming is scientifically developed to provide the right company for your dogs. The content has been analyzed and research so that it is specific to a dog’s sense of vision and hearing. To learn more about DogTV, please visit their website here.
5) Soothing Sounds: Soothing music and sounds can have a calming effect on your dog. Why does sound have such an effect? Sound healers have studied the therapeutic nature of sound through the years. They have discovered that by adjusting the different relationships between tone, tempo, and pattern, one can alter breathe, heart rate, and brain waves. To learn more about sound therapy and calming music for dogs, please visit Through A Dog’s Ear.
6) Puzzle Toys: There is a myriad of puzzle toys available for dogs. Each of which challenges your dog mentally. Providing them with mental stimulation while you are away is just as important as providing them with exercise.
7) Self-Fetching Toys: These days technology is making not just our lives better, but our dog’s lives too! With new toys like the iFetch, your dog can play fetch all by themselves which will keep them busy for hours! Most importantly, your pet will be getting exercise even while you are away!
If you are ever unsure about the amount of time you leave your pet at home, I highly recommend having a conversation with your veterinarian.
Every year in the U.S., between 9 and 11 million animals die in shelters. Rescue shelters are always at capacity, and there are many more animals being abandoned each day than there are homes that welcome pets in.
The most common reasons people give when dropping their pets off at shelters are: “The dog got bigger than we thought it would.” “We’re moving and we just can’t bring our pet with us.” “She’s ruining our yard.” But when you take in a pet, the pet becomes a part of your family. Would you leave another family member behind when you moved, or if they grew too tall?
Most people who leave their pets at shelters probably think they’re doing the right thing. The fact is, once your pet is left at a shelter, it has about 72 hours to be adopted before it is destroyed. If he or she is a highly coveted breed and stays completely healthy, they may survive for a few more days, but even the most beautiful and loving pets are susceptible to the harsh emotional and physical conditions at over-crowded shelters.
In support of humane, no-kill shelters providing rescue, spay, and neuter services, London Jewelers has created a full line of jewelry available here and at www.londonjewelers.com. A portion of each sale will go directly to help shelter and keep companion animals alive, healthy and happy.
Please read our Blog and visit our Partners page to learn more about what we do and whom we work with to help fulfill our mission. Follow us on Instagram - we are out there constantly saving lives and making a difference. Our foundation relies on proceeds from Our Cause for Paws jewelry line and your donations - thank you so much for your contributions to make this world a better and safer place for animals.
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REHOMING OUR ANIMAL REFUGEES IS A SMALL GROUP OF INDIVIDUALS WHOM HAVE BEEN INVOLVED IN RESCUING, REHABILITATING AND REHOMING PETS IN NEED FOR OVER 15 YEARS. THERE ARE MANY ANIMAL RESCUE GROUPS AND ANIMAL WELFARE ORGANIZATIONS IN OHIO, BUT THERE IS NO SHORTAGE OF PETS NEEDING OUR HELP.
Our mission is to aid the animal welfare community in its efforts to improve the conditions for animals in the state of Ohio by educating the public about animal welfare issues and legislation and engaging individuals to support the animal rescue community and increasing the amount of volunteer assistance in all aspects of the animal rescue community. We strive for a community where no adoptable companion animal is killed simply because it is homeless or in need.
We will promote and/or network animals with other rescues and we will be a resource for you to advertise and/or organize your transports.
If you would like to adopt an animal but do not know where to start, please contact us.