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Human Animal Bond

How Pets Improve Our Health and Well-Being

A person hugging their smiling dog.

Every day is a reminder to me that veterinary professionals do what they do to improve the quality, and often the longevity, of pets' lives. Their efforts give pet parents more time with their beloved pets. And not just time, but quality time.

What does quality time with our pets mean? It means time to cuddle with them, to walk with them, to play with them. It means time developing a trusting and loving relationship, which turns into a lifelong bond unlike any other that we share with our friends and family.

The American Veterinary Medical Association lists the following benefits that humans experience from the human-animal relationship:

  • Reduced anxiety and stress

  • Lower blood pressure

  • Decreased risk of heart disease

  • Support for kids with autism

  • Assistance for veterans with PTSD and other trauma survivors

  • Increased social interaction

  • Support for a longer life

The American Heart Association lists the following heart health benefits of pet ownership:

Dog owners were 65% less likely to die after a heart attack than non–dog owners.
Dog owners generally had a 24% reduced risk of mortality.
Owning a cat makes you more likely to be alive one year after a heart attack.
Non–cat owners had a 40% greater likelihood of death.

The veterinarians and staff at Wagnolia Veterinary Clinic not only understand the essence of this bond, but take time to help clients find solutions to their pets’ health problems that will protect this bond. Examples of this include:

  • Finding treatment options that the client will be able to perform without disturbing the relationship they share with their pet. We will talk through what you think you can and can’t do, and teach you how to perform the treatments we decide upon. We’ll check in to make sure everything is going as planned and tweak things when needed.

  • Taking time to make a diagnosis so that we can treat the problem efficiently and effectively. We are passionate about antibiotic stewardship and getting to the heart of the matter without taking shortcuts. No pet parent wants to helplessly watch over a pet who is feeling sick from the side effects of a medication it might not have needed.

  • Addressing periodontal disease, arthritis, and other sources of chronic pain early. We see a lot of pet parents tell us that they don’t cuddle with their pet as much because its breath smells too foul to allow for comfortable, close contact. Additionally, pain affects animals’ behavior; many people attribute these changes to age or a life change or anything else but pain. We’re here to help you see what’s going on and treat it.

I am so grateful to be in a profession that can improve the relationship between pets and pet parents. Not only do I get to help animals everyday, but I get to work with the most amazing people while doing so.

Vaishali Joshi, DVM

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