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Dog Lovers Healthier

Are dogs really man's best friend? Some researchers seem to think so. It appears that having a dog can make you both healthier and and happier.

In the British Journal of Health Psychology, a University of Belfast Psychologist claims that dog owners are healthier than cat owners. She speculated that, although she could not state the exact reasons, walking the dog might very well have something to do with the added health benefit of dog ownership. Another reason might include increased social interaction. The BBC reports Dr. June McNicholas, a health psychologist, as saying, "In some cases, the social support offered by an animal is greater than the support that another human could offer."

An About.com article states that dog, or cat, ownership can help to reduce stress. According to the article, "...itís virtually impossible to stay in a bad mood when a pair of loving puppy eyes meets yours, or when a super-soft cat rubs up against your hand." About.com also reports that pet ownership is more effective than ACE inhibiting drugs in controlling blood pressure spikes that are due to tension and stress.

The message? Get out there and get a pet. If you already have one, pay more attention to it. But, do remember that pets are a committment that shouldn't be taken lightly. Pet ownership lasts longer than many marriages! You heard it here on AbilityMaine.

Listing of Maine Animal Shelters:
http://www.petresources.net/rescue/shelter/statmaine.html

An excellent reference that can be found in many libraries, or on Amazon.com:
Second-Hand Dog: How to Turn Yours into a First-Rate Pet by Carol Lea Benjamin (Howell Reference Books)

Sources:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/6279701.stm
http://stress.about.com/od/lowstresslifestyle/a/petsandstress.htm

Beatrix Underfoot, a small gray dog, sitting on a chair.
This story sponsored by Beatrix Underfoote, who believes that dogs make the best pets.



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