Monday, August 11, 2008

Telling A Pet’s “Tail”

(NAPSI)-It seems that owning a pet might keep your health from going to the dogs.

Pet owners tend to have lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels than non-pet owners, and they have higher heart-attack survival rates, too, according to the Ontario Veterinary Medical Association.

Add to that lower levels of depression, loneliness and emotional problems in pet owners than non-pet owners and you might soon see the true value of a four-footed friend.

It’s a fact not lost on Kimber, a graduate student who brings her dog Kujo to visit disabled adults and children.

“We don’t even make it to the building before they all run out very excited and say, ‘The dogs are here, the dogs are here!’” she says. “One boy, who is about 7, almost never speaks because of his autism. But when we’re there, he calls out ‘Dog, dog, dog!’ and claps his hands. It makes such a difference in him.”

Kimber shares her story on the PowerofPaws.com Web site. It’s part of a new national initiative created by Milk-Bone, Meow Mix, Kibbles ‘n Bits, Pup-Peroni and Snausages to educate consumers about the mutual benefits that both pets and “pet parents” enjoy. One goal is to make pets more accessible to those who need daily assistance or a loving friend. The site offers inspiring testimonials from pet parents, as well.

“Our goal is to help people get active, reduce stress and live healthier lives together with their pets,” explains Dr. Bonnie Bergin, who created the concept of the Service Dog in 1975 and is a partner in the Power of Paws program. “It’s as easy as taking your dog for a walk. You’ll walk farther with your pet than you would if you were walking alone.”

Additionally, site visitors can tell their own heartwarming pet “tail.” Each story triggers a $1 donation on the teller’s behalf to organizations across the country, such as Bergin University of Canine Studies and the Animal Medical Center, which help people in need experience the benefits of pet companionship.

So what are some additional reasons to love your pets?

Nutrition For The Soul

When you show pets affection in the form of gentle words, caressing hands and simply by acceptance of them, they respond in kind.

Healthy Relationships

Walking your dog can be a great way for you and your dog to get some exercise. The American Heart Association says just two brisk 15-minute walks with your dog each day satisfy the standard for aerobic exercise.

Self-Worth

Studies show that self-esteem is enhanced in children who own pets and that pets can help children with attention deficit disorder (ADD) learn to concentrate.

For more information, visit www.powerofpaws.com.

A new Web site lets people share their favorite pet stories.

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Fayette Front Page
Fayetteville, Peachtree City, Tyrone

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