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Being Thankful for What We Have Received

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Being Thankful for What We Have Received

With the stress of the Holidays upon us, it’s difficult to remember to find joy in the little things. Being an animal owner and lover is no exception. Some November or December days, Fido’s barking can be most annoying (especially as seasonal guests walk up to the house), and every little drop of kibble on the floor just before judgmental Aunt Bertha arrives only adds to the mayhem.

Calgon! Take me away!

Actually, take a few minutes and let Fluffy or Fido take YOU away. Often times, the most obvious solution isn’t the one we necessarily see first.

It has been shown that stress, like Holiday stress, raises blood pressure and that elevated blood pressure can cause a host of other problems, including risk of stroke, heightened brain-aging, and any number of organ-related issues like heart and kidney problems. It also raises cortisol levels which can contribute to abdominal weight gain – just what EVERYONE needs at the Holidays!   (NOT!)

But, it has also been shown  that spending time with animals lowers blood pressure.  And, oddly, the additional barking  may be due to your pet wanting attention.  Want a perfect solution?  Take a break and play with your pet!  Win/win! 

Recent studies by the American Heart Association have shown that pet ownership can actually work BETTER at reducing blood pressure than some of the commonly prescribed drugs, like ACE-inhibitors.  Odd as it seems, the American Psychosomatic Society have led studies which prove that even having a dog or cat NEAR you while performing challenging tasks can help keep your blood pressure from spiking. And, through countless studies, several American psychological groups have proven that petting your animal companion will lower your blood pressure in minutes.  What more proof could you need?

While it IS indeed the “most wonderful time of the year”, it is without a doubt one of the most stressful, too.  Since roses aren’t in season, take time to smell the puppy (or kitty) tummy! Get down on the floor and show a little love to the furry one who shows you love all year round.   Take a moment to be thankful for that little bundle of joy and just play!  And, while you’re doing so, you are helping your pet burn off anxiety and stress, too, which actually may help reduce YOUR stress, too!

Happy Holidays!

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