It’s never easy to do anything when it’s hot and humid as hell. Not everyone has air conditioning to keep them cool when it’s hot. Most of us have to opt for basic electric fans and shorts.
Imagine currently residing in this heat with a full coat of hair. Yeah, not so simple, is it?
Our four-legged and furry companions are the most sensitive people in the summer. All they can do is pant and drink water to stay cool. It’s not hard to understand why we’re always told not to keep them in cars when it’s hot.
Well, it seems we need to remind people a little more.
Jason Minson, a Virginia resident, once walked by a very hot car and truck with a very scared and also very hot dog inside.
It was unclear how long the owner had been gone, or when he would return.
What was clear was that the canine had been there far too long.
Judging by his panting and restless gait.
Jason is an Army CSI, and his day job is as a landscaper. His days aren’t usually this stressful or intriguing. In fact, he had just discovered the dog in the car after another vehicle almost hit them.
He approached to check it out and was confronted with the sight of this pet dog panting for its life.
He called 911 for help and was told that the police were on their way to help.
Hopefully, it won’t take too long.
Yet, with each passing minute, the animal seemed to be in more and more trouble. It seemed like a countdown was underway, and Jason couldn’t stand by and do nothing.
He gave the dog water, which might have helped a little. He consumed every last drop of alcohol. After that, Jason offered him another container, and the dog consumed it as if he hadn’t had a whole bottle before. He was an extremely thirsty dog and also very, very hot.
Help has not yet arrived, and the dog’s problem does not seem to be getting any better.
It seemed that the water was only delaying the worst of it instead of preventing it, and something had to be done.
The police informed Jason not to break the windows of the vehicle. He didn’t really agree, but that was many minutes ago. After realizing the dog was severely dehydrated and not wanting to wait any longer, he finally relented and broke the vehicle window.
The animal was out, and Jason could relax a bit.
Of course, breaking the windows of a car or truck is not normally a way to relieve stress, but a life was at stake here.
He can rest now.
He did the right thing after all. The law is pretty clear about breaking car windows to keep endangered animals inside. This means that Jason will not be charged with criminal activity.
The same cannot be said for the owner of the car and the dog who left the poor dog inside. As for the animal, it was treated at a veterinary care center.
Obviously, it had not been returned to its former owner.
Never leave your pets inside the car in hot weather! That coat of fur is much hotter than it looks, and panting has only a limited effect. Don’t wait for someone to come and break your car window while you’re away.
In the meantime, share this article and let people know how to treat pets sensibly when it’s hot.
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10 Mental & Physical Health Benefits of Having Pets
Pets are family members. Like humans, they need love, health care, and attention. But pet parents’ relationships with their pets are not one sided. Pets give so much back in return, improving the health of our minds, bodies, and hearts.
The benefits of having pets are plentiful — and scientifically proven. Pets help their humans live longer, happier, and healthier lives mentally and physically. The Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) gathers the latest information on the positive health effects of companion animals. These researchers help make the case for adding a pet to a household.
From reducing the risk of heart attacks to alleviating loneliness, these furry family members are contributing to healthy communities.
Let’s talk about those benefits.
Better Mental Health
Pets can contribute to positive mental health through emotional work and practical work. The emotional work can be described as alleviating worries, stress, and depression. You may have noticed that your pet wastes no time noticing and springing into action when you are upset or sad. Their intuition is what makes them great support and therapy animals, and animal-assisted therapy is effective in treating PTSD, anxiety, and depression.
Then there’s the practical work that comes with caring for a pet. This means making sure their individual needs are met. Developing a daily routine of walks and feeding times can help pet parents with mental health conditions feel a sense of purpose that affects other areas of their lives.
The Data: Pets and Mental Health
A 2016 HABRI study explored the role of pets in the social networks of people managing a long‑term mental health problem.
- Pets were found to contribute to a stronger sense of identity in pet owners with mental health conditions, including reducing negative perceptions of a mental health condition or diagnosis.
- Pets provide a sense of security and routine in the relationship, which reinforces stable cognition.
- Pets provide a distraction and disruption from distressing symptoms, such as hearing voices, suicidal thoughts, rumination, and facilitating routine and exercise for those who care for them.
Better Physical Health
Every little bit counts when it comes to physical health benefits, and those daily walks really add up for dog owners. Since they are more likely to meet the criteria for regular moderate exercise, dog parents have lower instances of obesity.
Your heart is one of the biggest spots to see the full benefits of pet ownership. Just the presence of animals has significant impacts on blood pressure, with pet owners having a lower resting blood pressure than people without pet babies.
Cat parents aren’t left out of the healthy heart race. A feline friend in your home reduces your risk of death due to cardiovascular diseases, including stroke and heart attacks. According to the Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI), people without cats have a 40% higher relative risk of heart attack than non‑cat owners.
The Data: Pets and Physical Health
- Approximately 60% of dog walkers met the criteria for regular moderate and/or vigorous leisure‑time physical activity compared with about 45% for non‑dog owners and dog owners who did not walk their dog in a 2005 Michigan Behavioral Risk Factor Survey.
- In a study of adults over the age of 50 with mildly elevated blood pressure, the presence of a pet dog or cat had a significant impact on blood pressure, with dog ownership being associated with lower diastolic and systolic blood pressure compared to people who did not own pets.
- A study of over 2,400 cat owners concluded there was a significantly lower relative risk for death due to cardiovascular diseases, including stroke and heart attack, compared to non‑owners during a 20‑year follow‑up.
Healthier Aging Process
Research has shown that older adults get social and emotional support from their pets that combats loneliness and depression. Aside from promoting exercise and reducing stress, pets also assist in the treatment of long‑term diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Pet companionship is also key for hospital and cancer patients. When coupled with animal-assisted activities, pets help patients with pain management and in interactions with doctors and nurses. Those patients also responded better to treatments and reported improvements in their quality of life.
The Data: Pets and Aging
- Results of a study of older adults who live alone suggest that pet ownership may act as a buffer against loneliness.
- Results of a one-year study that examined the impact of animal‑assisted therapy (AAT) on patients with chronic pain demonstrated that, following AAT, patients reported reduced pain, discomfort, and stress. Additionally, stress among nursing staff was found to decrease significantly following AAT.
- A study of older adults with mental illness living in long‑term care facilities concluded that AAT reduced depressive symptoms and improved cognitive function.
When we look at the data on mental health, physical health, and aging, it’s clear that pets contribute much to people’s lives in these areas, as well as being the loving companions we’ve always known they are.