I’m smiling already because I know most individuals are flipping through their mental rolodex counting down through the vitamin letters and scratching their heads…Vitamin P?

What the heck?

Well, the answer is in the scratching. You know that thing “Pets” do!

Eureka! You figured it out. Its our Pets.

Take a look at the word , which comes from the Latin vita ‘life’ + amine, because vitamins were originally thought to contain an amino acid. I don’t know about you but my handsome pet Manchester Terrier named ‘Primmus’ meets that description because he is definitely a bundle of amino acids (proteins) full of life. All my fellow terrier owners know exactly what I’m talking about.

Now, even though we now know that vitamins are not amino acids the term still sticks and by definition “any of a group of organic substances essential in small quantities to normal metabolism”.

Those organic creatures that we find so essential to our lives can hold the keys to a life much more in balance and able to help us prevent disease.

Did you know that there are more pets in American households than there are children? Yea, yea, I know….most of us count our pets as kids. But you get the point.

So many times we hear about techniques such as Yoga, and Meditation being touted  for stress reduction. Very true. However, we have a tool that can benefit our health just as much. Quality time with our Pet.

There have been several studies, including those funded by the National Institute of Health, that revealed that dogs can provide better social support and stress relief than even our friends and family can offer.

Talk about ones best friend! Right?

It’s amazing to read the research that even shows that owning a pet can reduce stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol, improve immune system functioning and pain management, increase a sense of trust in others, reduce aggression, enhance empathy, and improve learning.

In fact, these health benefits seem to be caused by an increase in oxytocin, a pituitary hormone released right after sex, as well as during breastfeeding, helping to create the mother-child bond. {1}

Think about it, have any of your pet owners of the furry persuasion ever been able to stay in a crummy mood when your furry friend comes over and rests their head on your knee or plops in you lap and looks at you with those loving eyes.

Check out this list of benefits of Vitamin P {2}:

  • Lower stress levels
  • Improve blood pressure and vessel function
  • Reduce medical appointments and minor health problems
  • Decrease depression
  • Boost levels of exercise and physical activity
  • Improve alertness and attention
  • Reduce irregular heartbeats
  • Raise self-esteem

Now the ironic thing is that so many people go on vacations to get some of those results when the very remedy is literally staring them in the face. To top if off, what happens to these millions of pets? Sadly, its they get stuck in a kennel surrounded by other who are also confined to small confines and left to tinkle and poop through a grated floor in lue of those runs in the yard with the one they love the most.

Seems a bit grim I know. I also realize that sometimes it’s the only option and that a large amount of us have friends and family to prevent such a situation. Yet, my point and challenge to you is still the same. That is to take a moment and reflect at just how wonderful our vitamin P can be to our health.

So if you are like me and have the ability to take your vitamin P with you, perfect! High Five! If you are not, the great news is there is an option for you.

Dog Care Exchange

How cool would it be to tell your kids that you are going on a grown up vacation but they will get to have a sleepover party with a bunch of kids who’s parents are super cool and fun? There ya have it!

Talk about a win!

Your vitamin P gets a return on its health similar to you by getting:

  • Personal Attention – members from the Dog Care Exchange who have already met your dog and who know what they like and dislike can give them specialized attention rather than a cold, metal cage. A Dog Care Exchange member can meet your dog’s need for undivided attention and personalized care much better than a kennel worker who must attend to several anxious critters in the same space.
  • Less Exposure to Illness – many of use realize that kennels are not the best place for our pets but choose them solely because we thought there was no other place to go. But its unfortunate because when hundreds of animals are kept in confined spaces together all kinds of bad bugs and parasites can prevail. A place that is most like home will certainly help prevent such things.
  • Reduced Stress – after all isn’t that why we go on vacation and to get away from? It only makes sense to give our loved ones a little taste of that too. They will be around people they know, be more at ease and not have the stress of being stuck with potentially aggressive dogs that they never met before.

So be sure to take a moment each day and remember how wonderful vitamin P is to your well-being. If you have a pet, take time to supplement yourself with them daily because as the research shows, they provide you with lots of health benefits. If you don’t have one, well what are you waiting for? Get one! Now you don’t have that same lame excuse of not having anyone to care for them when you are away from home.

The Dog Care Exchange is a smart and caring way to love your pet back by giving them new canine and human companions to play with while you are out of town. The whole idea just makes sense; it’s better for you, for your pet, and for your wallet!

 

References:

{1} Beetz A, Uvnäs-Moberg K, Julius H, Kotrschal K. Psychosocial and psychophysiological effects of human-animal interactions: the possible role of oxytocin. Front Psychol. 2012;3:234.

{2} Arhant-Sudhir K, Arhant-Sudhir R, Sudhir K. Pet ownership and cardiovascular risk reduction: supporting evidence, conflicting data and underlying mechanisms. Clin Exp Pharmacol Physiol. 2011 Nov;38(11):734-8.