It’s no wonder you see so many dogs at the dog park – and so many cat pictures on Facebook. Pet owners have confessed that they love their furry companions as much as or more than their family members, in some cases.
This news may come as a shock, unless you happen to be a pet owner who is totally head over heels for your “fur baby” at home. The pet subscription box service PoochPerks.com confirmed this much was true In 2015 when they conducted a survey on 1.000 dog owners. The survey results showed that 38 percent of pet owners loved their dog more than their spouse or partner 1
When it came to rating the pain of losing a pet compared to a relationship break-up, the results were similar. Pet owners rated the pain of a runaway dog at 9.1 on a scale of 1 to 10, compared to an 8.8 for a breakup.
A PLoS One study conducted in 2014 took it a step further. The researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital found a strong connection between a person’s love for their pet and the love for a child. Proving that animals really can become like our children, the scientists used a brain imaging study to detect that the brain network regions for reward, emotion, visual processing, social cognition and affiliation were activated when women viewed pictures of both their child and their dog. 2
MAN’S BEST FRIEND DESERVES ONLY THE BEST
We place high priority on the healthcare of our family members, but oddly enough, it’s our pet’s health that can often fall by the wayside. Maybe it’s because, until recently, there was a social stigma associated with loving a pet like a member of the family — which the latest research has now disprove. Today, we are only just beginning to develop a regular pet care standard that values each dog, cat, horse and other animal as a true part of the family. Our pets deserve the best when it comes to fresh food, exercise, bonding, relaxation and especially nutrition. Taking simple steps to improve a pet’s health can not only increase quality but length of life. Research also suggests that pet loss can mimic many of the traditional bereavement patterns experienced after losing a loved one, with up to a third of pet owners feeling significant grief that lasts six months or longer. 3
You may love your pet like family, but the distinct difference between a pet and a partner, a sibling, or a child is that your pet can’t speak up when they are in need of help.
If your child is sick, it’s fairly easy for you to read the cues and ask them how they are feeling, before deciding to schedule a visit to the doctor. If your partner is feeling sluggish, lethargic and less than their best, you may work together to start a new diet and exercise plan. But remember, our beloved pets don’t have voices. It’s our job to watch them carefully and act on their behalf whenever they are not feeling well.
Pre-emptively, there are several things that you can do to make sure your pet’s health stays on track. We consider these tips to be the basics of good pet care, to improve daily life and even save on costly vet visits when health problems go undetected.
PET-FRIENDLY NUTRITION, MADE EASY
Just like people, pets can benefit from daily nutritional support to correct deficiencies, manage illness and achieve optimum health:
The number one Serrapeptase for animals, delivering 80,000IU’s Serrapeptase per tablet. Also known as The ‘Miracle’ Enzyme, Serrapeptase can help a whole host of health conditions. SerraPet is suitable for all animals, including horses, dogs, and cats. It is being used by vets and is the Serrapeptase trusted to deliver the best results.
This is a broad-spectrum probiotic and pre-biotic, with a variety of x29 strains of friendly bacteria. There is a good study which showed quick improvement with canine diarrhoea [Bittner, A.C. & Smioth J (2005), Advanced Probiotic – Prebiotic Treatment For Canine Diarrhea. Keny WA: Bittner & Associates].
- Anti-inflammatory enzymes — Serrapeptase is a known anti-inflammatory enzyme that cleans and clears unwanted debris and dead cells in the body, providing a much-needed internal “spring clean” for all of our animal friends. 4 We have seen Serrapeptase treat a number of debilitating conditions in ageing dogs, cats and horses, including the inflammation associated with arthritis. Toni says, “l put my Il-year-old lab-mix on your 80,000 units of Serrapeptase twice a day back in February for arthritis in his front legs. It took a few weeks, but it has made a big difference; he no longer limps at the end of an active day and no pain meds are required.
- Probiotics— In the past decade, probiotic use has exploded among people looking to improve their health, and beneficial bacteria can provide the same gut-protective benefits to our animals too. University of Cork scientists have successfully used probiotics against a number of animal diseases to better understand how probiotics can prevent and treat diseases in humans.5 A daily probiotic for pets can strengthen the gut and also help to relieve digestive discomfort, like gas and bloating.
- Digestive enzymes – Probiotics are needed to provide a big boost of beneficial bacteria to regulate the health of the gut, while digestive enzymes can help a pet to better break down the food it eats. 6. Similar to modern human diets, modern pet diets are much different from what animals ate centuries ago. There’s every chance that your pet may be lacking the critical digestive enzymes that help to break down and absorb nutrients in food, leading to underlying deficiency. Digestive enzymes may also help to relieve acid reflux, bad breath, unpleasant stools, undigested food in stools and vomiting in pets.
Along with the potential to enjoy more years together, there’s another big bonus to making your pet’s health a priority. Improving your pet’s health may have an impact on the health of the entire family. In 2016, the University of Massachusetts Medical School researchers conducted a fascinating study on how caring for pets could affect children with type I diabetes. The children who actively cared for the family pet saw direct benefits to their own health, making them 2.5 times more likely to maintain healthy blood sugar levels compared to kids who did not care for a pet. 7
1. Pooch vs Lover? Which Would You Choose? 2015 PoochPerkscotn.
2. Stoeckel L E, Pauey, L Sq Gollub, R L, Niem S M. and Evins, A E 2014 Oct Patterns of brain activation when mothers view their own child and dog: anfMRl study. PLOS One doi: 10.1371/ journaLpone.0107205. ecollection 2014
3. Adrian, I A, Deliramich A N. and Frueh B. C 2009 Summer. Complicated griefand posttraumatic Stress disorder in humans’ response to the death of pets/animals Bull Menninger Clin 73(3) pp 76-87 do}:
Yamazaki, J. etaL 1967 Anti-inflammatory activity ofTSP, a protease produced by a strenn of Setratia folia Pharmacol Japan 63 pp 302-314,
5 Societyfor General Microbiology. 2009. How Probiotics Can Prevent Disease Sciencet)aity
6. Suarez E Levitt, M. Adshead, J. and Barkin I S 1999 JUL Pancreatic supplements reduce syqnptonvtic response of healthy subjects to a high fat meat Dig Dis Sci. 44(7) pp 1317-2
7. Maranda. L. and Gupta, O. T. 2016 Association between responsible pet ownership and gtycemit control in youths with type diabetes PLOS ONE 11 (4k IO.1371/journal.pone0152332