Happy People – Happy Pets
By Ashleigh McCully
We all know a balanced diet, exercise and plenty of water are the secrets to a healthy lifestyle in humans, but these simple rules are also key to keeping our furry friends happy and healthy as well. The RSPCA promotes a healthy diet and maintenance of good cardio-vascular health as important preventative factors for a range of animal health issues. Along with these simple rules, it’s important for our pets to have regular check-ups, good hygiene, and an active social life. Following these lifestyle tips can contribute to a longer, more enriching life for our pets, and reduce the risk of serious illness such as cancer.
As with humans, it’s important our pets are not subjected to second-hand smoke, prolonged exposure to sunlight or exposure to toxins, for cancer prevention.
Creating a safe environment for our pets and limiting external risk factors benefits both humans and animals alike.
When our pets are happy and healthy, we reap the rewards.
Caring for a pet can reduce stress and anxiety, as well as ease loneliness. This has been proven to work so well, that pet therapy is now considered to be an effective technique for improving health outcomes in hospital settings and aged care facilities. Studies have shown that animal-assisted therapy can decrease pain, lower blood pressure, and provide a positive distraction from treatment schedules for those fighting cancer. According to the CCTA, the socialisation and increased communication associated with this style of therapy can significantly improve quality of life for patients and ‘humanise’ high-tech treatments.
So, what does all of this tell us?
Clearly there is a correlation between our health and our pet’s health. When we care for our pets and ensure they have a healthier lifestyle, we also help ourselves to feel better in the long run. Being thoughtful when preparing food for our pets can promote personal satisfaction or taking our dog to the park and seeing them play can provide joy, both of which are incidental advantages of caring for our pet’s health.
It’s important to understand the specific needs of our pets to tailor exercise and diet plans. Regular consultation with your veterinarian and research on your breed are the best places to start. But as with everything, don’t forget to have fun and enjoy your time with your furry friend!