Celebrate Your Pet

I recently attended the annual BlogPaws blogger conference held at Lake Las Vegas. It’s a wonderful opportunity to learn new things, network and generally appreciate pets.

In recent years, there are been numerous studies showing how humans benefits as a result of relationships with our cats and dogs. And this research is now being taken very seriously.

Simply put, pets are good for us.

Seeing that my mission in the pet space focuses on enhancing the human-animal bond, for me, the highlight of BlogPaws was keynote speaker Dr. Kate Hodgson from the University of Toronto. She has in fact coined a name from the human-animal bond — Zooeyia — from the Greek words for animal (zoion) and health (Hygeia was the ancient Greek goddess of health, the same source as “hygiene”).

According to Dr. Hodgson, a lot has been written about zoonotic diseases that affect both humans and animals, spreading from animals to humans and vice versa. She believes that we should look at human and animal health together. And to this end, she has defined a concept she calls One Health with the initiative of improving the health of all species — human and animal — through the integration of human healthcare and veterinary medicine.

One Health is not limited to the prevention of zoonoses; it also encompasses the human health benefits from animals. The list of benefits for companion animals is something that gets longer by the day. Animals help us in so many ways. For example, dogs are able to sniff out cancer and detect seizures and are wonderful companions for kids suffering from autism while therapy cats and dogs visit the elderly and seriously ill patients of all ages on a daily basis. Dogs force us out the front door to go for a walk and interact with our own species and cats curl up on our laps and give us unrivaled companionship — along with the fact that their purring is a research-proven stress reliever.

Companion pets make out lives better in so many ways. This week is Pet Appreciation Week. It’s worth a moment to stop and reflect. Here’s to Zooeyia.

Editor’s Note: Zoonotic diseases (also called zoonoses) are infectious diseases that can be spread from animals to humans. It’s flea and tick season and many of their diseases can infect humans, too. Use a flea and tick product like PetArmor Plus IGR for Dogs or PetArmorPro Advanced for Cats and get rid of fleas and ticks before they become a widespread problem in your household.

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