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Your four-legged friend might just be improving your quality of life. Don’t believe me? Your pets may not consciously take care of you, but having them around can be beneficial. Just owning a pet can improve your overall health and wellness. Owning a dog, for instance, can help increase your physical activity. A four-legged companion can also reduce stress and boost children’s immunity. Petting a cat can actually help to lower your blood pressure!
To learn more about the health benefits of owning a pet, watch the following video from eCards for Health.
Be a Responsible Pet OwnerOf course, welcoming any animal to your family comes with responsibility. As much as having pets contributes to your wellbeing, it’s important to return the favor by ensuring that they’re healthy too. Below are just a few tips for keeping your pets happy and healthy.
Toxic Eats: What’s Good for Humans May Not Be Good for PetsOne step toward ensuring your pet’s wellbeing is to make sure that toxic foods, chemicals and plants are out of their reach.
FoodsOur diets differ greatly from our pets. What tastes good to us may be lethal for a pet. The following are a few no-nos for your family pet:
PlantsWhile both plants and pets are good for people, some plants can pose serious health problems for pets—especially dogs and cats who like to chew. If you’re looking to make your space greener, check to see what plants are poisonous before buying. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) maintains a list of toxic and non-toxic plants.
Some common dangers:
You can also try to train your pets to stay away by spraying plants with a mixture of water and hot pepper, but the safest bet is to remove these plants from any area where your pet may reach them.
If you have a pet who has consumed any of the above, don’t try to induce vomiting. Instead, call your veterinarian right away. Different foods call for different treatments.
Children and Pet SafetyIt’s not all fun and games when you have a pet; you have to remember that they are still animals. Children between the ages of 5 and 9 are most at risk for being bitten by a dog. Fortunately, teaching young children how to behave around animals as well as training animals how to behave around kids will have positive effects all around.
Both children and pets don’t instinctively know how to act around or treat one another. By following these tips, you can help to make both children and pets safe and healthy.
Preparing Your Pet for ChildrenOf course, children aren’t the only ones who should be instructed how to behave in these situations. Your family pet likely needs training on how to deal with young children. Whether you’re expecting a new baby or inviting a new pet to join the family, the following can help your transition go smoothly. (Note: if you are expecting, it’s a good idea to start this training several months before the baby is born.)
Finally, talk with your veterinarian if you have concerns about your pet’s behavior or questions about any of the above information. These experts can help you to increase your pet’s wellbeing.
What pets do you have? Tell us your best pet story in the comments below!
Most recent update: 9/30/2017
Sources: The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), American Veterinary Medical Association, The Humane Society of the United States
Hi Laura, We do not offer pet health insurance and don't have information on how to obtain medication for your pet. I'd recommend contacting your vet's office to discuss this. ~ Kayla
Where can I take my dog for allergy meds plus flea/tic drops for the season? Are these covered with pet insurance? Do I need to contact BCBS to sign my dog up for insurance? I would rather do that than pay for Banfield at PetSmart if I don’t have to. Any information would be greatly appreciated!!!
Hello, Unfortunately we do not offer health insurance for pets. ~ Heather
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