Month: August 2018

3 Must-Have Home Upgrades for Pet Owners

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http://great-smoky-mountains-park.org/nature-science/contact-us August 22, 2018

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Pets have been invited into our homes around the world, often earning a beloved spot in the family. These additional family members, as well as yourself, can greatly benefit from some upgrades to the home. Here are three must-have items that make life much easier — not to mention cleaner — for you and your pet.

Pet Doors

Our beloved pets are created to be outside. Pet doors are a great addition to your home that allows a dog, cat or other pet to travel between indoors and outdoors at their own leisure. The installation process can be done on your own if you’re experienced with a toolbox and saw or you can have one put in by a professional. There are a variety of designs and sizings made to fit the exact need of your pet along with the aesthetic desire for your home. Some pet doors have security features, like automatic pet doors, which only open for your pet once it senses she/he nearby.

Central Vacuum

A central vacuum system can greatly reduce the amount of work involved in keeping your home tidy and clean, even with man’s best friend running around. According to one central vacuum manufacturer, a central vacuum system will help you “enjoy a cleaner, healthier home and spend less time cleaning, overall.” Not only do pets shed their hair inside your home, but they also bring in all kinds of other allergens which a central vacuum can pick up and carry away, guaranteeing that the air in your home is clean and pure. This system is installed into the home and designed to carry dirt, debris, and other particles through a network of tunnels or pipes to a collection unit that is stored in a discreet location. All an owner must do is hook up their chosen tool to one of the inlets installed into various locations along baseboards and begin cleaning.

Outdoor Pet Shower

Just like humans, our pets need to be cleaned. Many owners cringe at the thought of the mess involved in scrubbing their animal down in an indoor bathtub. K9 of Mine explains, “There are a variety of different hose and shower attachments available to make the process easier for modern dog owners – not to mention making bath time more comfortable for your pooch.” A pet shower allows an animal to be cleaned outdoors where the mess can be sprayed away. They are also designed with pets in mind. They are typically smaller than the average bathtub, involve a hand-held sprayer and a shelf perfect for storing soap and brushes.

Just like a new baby, pets bring change to a home. Simplifying your life by considering these home upgrades is well worth the time and money of any pet owner. Hey, you know what else makes life a lot easier while freeing up more precious time? That’s right… any of our pet waste cleanup services. Have a friend in need? Our gift certificates are the perfect gift for any pet owner!

How Owning A Dog Will Improve Your Mental Health

health benefits dog ownership

August 5, 2018

Dog owners everywhere agree that their pets add love and depth to their lives. Did you know that owning a dog can significantly improve your mental health as well?

How is this possible? Is this just something that obsessed dog owners say to justify their relationships with furry friends, or is there some truth that adding a loyal dog to your life improves every aspect of life?

Scientific research has been conducted on the impact that having a pet in your home has on life, health, and relationships, and it has proven that having a relationship with a dog can improve your mental health.

Dogs Can Help Reduce Depression Symptoms

With the introduction of AAT, or animal-assisted therapy activities as part of depression treatment, people suffering from depression noted a significant decrease in the number and severity of symptoms, even when it was reported that they’d had the diagnosis for years. Dogs also help reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness, something we particularly tend to struggle with in our modern society.  AAT has been known to reduce feelings of loneliness in patients residing in long-term care facilities. People that had experienced favorable interactions with therapy animals began reaching out to patients and caregivers around them, increasing their interactions and making connections with others.

Dogs Inspire Family Time

Studies show that families who adopt or raise a dog to participate in more leisure activities and family time than those who do not. Interpersonal relationships, as well as relationships with the family pet, are notably improved during these interactions. Make sure to get a breed that blends well with the family, such as a beagle, a golden retriever, or even a german shepherd (if you want a guard dog as well).

Dogs Increase Our Capacity For Empathy

The presence of a dog in the home increases our capacity for empathy and compassion. Looking at that relationship requires that we identify with feelings that are unique to our dogs, and to anticipate what their needs and desires must be. By giving them what they want and need, it deepens our connection with them.

Dogs Ease The Trauma Caused by PTSD

PTSD support animals are used to decrease stress and the after-effects of trauma on abuse sufferers, military service members, and people suffering from mental and emotional distress as a result of a traumatic event. Creating a relationship with therapy dogs allows people with PTSD to step outside of those tragic memories and remain in the present moment for more extended periods of time.

Dogs Reduce Our Stress!

If this isn’t reason enough to adopt a furry family member, I don’t know what is! It was found that interacting with a dog during a break in a workday significantly reduced levels of cortisol–a known stress hormone–in the body. The next time you see a pet in your workplace, stop and say hello. It will benefit both of you! Want to implement a pet-friendly workplace?

Dog Owners Have Better Sleep

What better way to unwind and relax after a long day than by playing a rousing game of catch with your dog? That’s bound to tire the both of you out—dog owners tend to experience better sleep than those without dogs. It is also noted that dog owners have better levels of health and fitness and resisted illness more effectively.

Yes, you might be considering all of the cons, whether it’s the potential noise, training demands, or even the poop (which, hey, there’s a service to help with that), that might be deterring you from getting a furry friend. Well, it’s time to consider all of the positives. With all of the noted benefits of owning a dog, how can you justify not running to your nearest animal shelter and looking for the perfect companion for you and your family? Dogs are loyal, devoted friends, and they will improve your life in ways that you never imagined possible. If you haven’t already done so, consider adding more depth and richness to your life; adopt a dog today!

References:

Why Millennials Are Lonely | Forbes

How Dogs Can Help Combat Vets with PTSD | Low VA Rates

7 Surprising Reasons Your Dog Should Sleep On Your Bed Every Night | Little Things

Dog Love and Owner’s Health: The Therapeutic Companion | Dog Lovers For Life

The Power of Animals in Recovery | The Recovery Village