Advantage Pet Center Post Archives
Just because you have allergies, it doesn’t mean you can’t live life with a furry (or hairless) companion. In fact, did you know that pet hair itself is not an allergen? Dander, urine, and saliva are the main causes of pet allergies, and they can be carried on pet hair (where dust and pollen can also catch a ride!). The bad news is that while some types of animals cause less of a reaction than others, no pet is truly hypoallergenic. By carefully choosing your pet and taking steps to clean and filter your air, your pet and itchy eyes don’t have to be mutually exclusive.
Here are the 5 best pets for people with allergies.
Standard poodles are appropriate for allergy sufferers because their hair has a long-growth cycle. This means they shed less. And because of their curly coat, the hair that sheds is held on… along with dander and other allergens. Poodles still need professional grooming, but frequent baths combined with their unique fur make them a good pet for those with allergies.
Sphynx cats have no hair, and therefore are less likely to spread allergens around. This doesn’t mean they are completely free of allergens, remember that sneezes and itchy eyes are caused by a protein in saliva and other excretions.
Portuguese Water Dog
Portuguese Water Dogs are recommended for those with allergies for a strange reason: they require so much coat maintenance that most allergens are washed out of their fur. If you are prepared for frequent grooming appointments, a Portuguese Water Dog might be for you.
Devon Rex Cat
If a hairless cat is a little too much for you, consider the Devon Rex. The Devon Rex has less hair than most cats so it doesn’t need to groom as often. Less grooming means less saliva, a big source of allergens.
If a cat or dog is too much for you, try another furry pet. Rabbits are a good choice for people who want a cuddly friend but can’t due to allergies. While rabbits have fur, they are often contained in a cage for most of the time. You may want to spend some time with rabbits, as some people can be allergic to bunnies.
If all else fails, a goldfish can be a pretty satisfying pet.
Cats may require less of a commitment than than their canine counterparts, but that doesn’t mean they don’t need love and care. Like all domesticated animals, they need proper attention and care to live a fulfilling nine lives. Ask yourself these questions right meow to find out if you are a good cat owner!
Do you visit the vet and keep them on a healthy diet?
All pets, and humans for that matter, should receive annual checkups. Checkups make sure that all the bells and whiskers are working as they should be. Keeping up with with shots and flea, tick, and heartworm medication is vital for their health and well-being. Make sure to trim their nails too, as they’re the main claws of scratches on your arms and fur-niture. When it comes to food, avoid by-products, grains, soy and corn proteins, and don’t overindulge them. Feed no more than twice a day and stick to the same feeding schedule.
Do you keep their litter box clean?
It’s no secret a dirty litter box smells less than enchanting, but the smell isn’t the only problem a dirty litter box presents. If their litter box is unclean, your cat might find another location to handle their business, perhaps your shoes. If you have more than one cat, make sure to have multiple litter boxes. Put a paws on unwelcome surprises and make sure to scoop out your litter box(es) litter-ally once a day!
Do you stimulate them mentally and physically?
Cats are natural born predators and share many of the same su-purr-erior characteristics with larger, wilder felines. Satisfy those predatory instincts by opening a window so they can watch the birds and rodents. Bring out their inner lion with enrichment toys that make them hunt for their food, which makes them happier. Spend some time each day playing with your cat and leave toys out for them to grab and play with at their own leisure.
Do you discipline your cat correctly?
If your cat belongs on the show “My Cat From Hell,” you probably need to rethink your discipline strategy. Don’t punish your cat like it’s a child, cats don’t respond to punishment the same way humans do. In fact, certain punishments, like shouting or hitting, will just make the behavior much worse and the relationship you share could become a cat-astrophe. When your cat is acting out it might be because it’s bored and wants attention and to be played with. If you must discipline your cat negatively, stick to ignoring them and not giving any treats. They’re not dogs and won’t react well to the same discipline techniques.
Pet owners vary not only in their pet of choice (dog or cat, canary or goldfish) but also in their reasons for owning a pet. Some of us may pick a pet that is perfect for running along the beach, while others want a couch potato soulmate. No matter our differences, one thing remains true for all pet owners: the health benefits.
Here are 5 ways that pets make our lives healthier (and better!) just by being there for us:
1. Your mood
Spending just 30 minutes with your dog can trigger your brain to release chemicals linked to happiness. And your pooch gets the same feel-good benefits.
Cat owners can be less lonely and have higher morale than those who don’t have a cat – likely because cuddling with an animal can unleash oxytocin, the body’s “love” hormone.
Being with a dog for five minutes can lower your levels of cortisol, a stress hormone. The effect is so pronounced that, in one study, frazzled people said they felt it was more relaxing to be around their pets than their spouses!
This even works at the office: Research found that people who brought their dogs to work had lower stress levels throughout the day (meanwhile, levels rose among their canine-less colleagues).
Research suggests that spending time with animal pals may help ease your pain.
Believe it or not, pets can be the best medicine, especially when a person is dealing with chronic pain like migraines or arthritis. Just like Valium, it reduces anxiety; the less anxiety, the less pain.
4. Lower cholesterol
People who own pets – and men, in particular – have significantly lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels than those who don’t have pets. However, it is not clear whether the pet’s presence decreases cholesterol, or if those who maintain a healthier lifestyle are more often pet owners.
Active dogs need activity. So it’s no surprise that dog owners are more likely to be in better shape than those without dogs. They are also more likely to get the vigorous workouts their body needs.
Also, walking with a dog — versus walking alone — has been linked to more social interactions, such as conversations with other dog owners.
5. Your Heart
Petting an animal – or even watching fish swim around in a tank – can lower your heart rate and blood pressure. A study found that dog owners were nine times more likely to be alive one year after a heart attack than those without dogs.
One study found cat owners were less likely to die from heart disease than those who live without cats. Another study found that dog owners were nine times more likely to be alive one year after a heart attack than those without dogs.
Do you think your pets make your life better?
Add your comments below!
We all know that dog’s make great companions for people of all ages and have even been shown to lower blood pressure in adults, but can owning a dog be directly linked to less anxiety in children?
A study published recently in the medical journal Preventing Chronic Disease shows that families with a dog have children that are much less likely to suffer from chronic fear and anxiety.
The study researchers looked at almost 650 children aged 18 months and older who were screened for anxiety. Of those children, 58 percent had a dog at home.
Only 12 percent of children with dogs tested positive for anxiety, compared with 21 percent of those without dogs, the researchers at Bassett Medical Center in Cooperstown, N.Y., found.
Having a dog may reduce a child’s anxiety — particularly social and separation anxieties — in a number of ways, such as by triggering conversations and helping break the ice with new people, the researchers suggested. However, the study did not prove a cause-and-effect link between dogs and lower anxiety levels in children.
“Interacting with a friendly dog also reduces cortisol levels, most likely through oxytocin release, which lessens physiologic responses to stress,” the researchers wrote. “These hormonal effects may underlie the observed emotional and behavioral benefits of animal-assisted therapy and pet dogs.”