Heart Health and Your Pet



Valentine’s Day can be a fun day to celebrate with a significant other or a best friend, but it is also a wonderful day to focus your appreciation toward your pet and what they are doing to help keep your heart healthy!


Playing with your pet and/or walking your dog provides exercise and good bonding and training time for both you and your pet. A pet that is overweight is more susceptible to heart disease as carrying extra weight can be for humans. Obesity is less likely to occur in dog owners who walk their dogs, according to studies (sciencedirect). A 20-year study showed that people who had never owned cats had a 40% increased risk of having a heart attack than those who have had cats in their lifetime (Cleveland Heart Lab). Looking into your cat or dog’s eyes releases oxytocin, the “cuddle hormone,” which reduces stress and therefore reduces risk of heart disease in humans.


Here are some things to do on Valentine’s Day and every day to keep everyone’s heart in tip top shape!


  • Play with your cat! It’s not only fun, but is also important for a well-balanced cat as well as help their heart and reduce risk of obesity. Watch some fun tips here! https://youtu.be/sR0StLh6uKE

  • Walk your dog to a local restaurant and treat them to an item on the doggie menu! Many restaurants provide outside seating for our K-9 family members, and some even have special doggie menus so you can share a meal!

  • Take your senior pets out in a stroller or wagon. Even if they can’t do a long walk, just getting your dog outside to smell the neighborhood can stimulate their nose and give them a sense of calm as they connect with their environment. It also gives you walking creds on your Fitbit or pedometer!

See below for links to dog-friendly locations in the area, or check with BringFido.com for activities that are dog-friendly near you!


Pet Friendly Info near Port St. Lucie (dog parks included)

https://www.cityofpsl.com/government/departments/police/animal-control/pet-friendly-psl


Dog Friendly Restaurants near Stuart

https://www.yelp.com/search?find_desc=dog+friendly+restaurants&find_loc=Stuart%2C+FL


Dog Friendly Activities near Fort Pierce

https://www.bringfido.com/attraction/city/fort_pierce_fl_us/


Dog Beaches and Beach Tips

http://purpups.weebly.com/dog-friendly-beaches-of-the-treasure-coast.html



References and Additional Reading:


https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/having-a-dog-can-help-your-heart--literally


https://www.dignityhealth.org/articles/pets-and-heart-health


https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-lifestyle/mental-health-and-wellbeing/can-your-pet-help-you-be-healthier


https://www.clevelandheartlab.com/blog/do-pets-help-your-heart/


https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0091743508002673?via%3Dihub


https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3317329/pdf/jvin-2-1-135.pdf






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