Health 101: Pets Are Good for Our Hearts

An article released recently by U.S. News has proven what many of us pet owners have always known, pets are good for our hearts. We know they relieve stress, can remind us to “stay present,” and can make us smile in our darkest moments with their wagging tails and loving eyes. An official statement released by the American Heart Association says there is evidence that having a pet, particularly a dog, may lower your risk of heart disease.

The article discusses how having pets, particularly dogs, helps lower blood pressure, increase brain chemicals that contribute positively to moods, and lower stress as well as weight. Walking, playing, and being out and about with your dog exercises you too! Having a pet that keeps you in a routine is important to not feel or become overwhelmed with the rest of the daily stressors of life. The American Heart Association gathered from studies that there is a reduction in heart disease risk factors such as high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol levels and obesity — and improved survival among people with heart disease when people own a dog.

They do stress that owning a dog does not mean it will eradicate the chances of heart issues but it does help keep us healthy in all aspects from exercising to socializing. Further research is needed to see if healthier people have pets or if pets help people become healthier. It sounds like a chicken or egg conumdrum.

However, for us pet owners, it’s good reinforcement to stay motivated and walk that extra half mile with our dogs and remember to play with them everyday. To read more, click here.

Image from Wikimedia Commons

Dog-Friendly Vacationing in Orlando, Florida

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If you are heading down to Orlando, Florida, sometime to take the kids to Disneyworld or one of the other attractions, there are many dog-friendly options to not have to leave your dog in the hotel room. Orlando was the third most visited American city for tourists, in 2007. There are many resources for people who come to this city with dogs.

Attractions

Hip Dog Aquatic Rehabilitation and Fitness Center

Located in Winter Park, Florida, this place offers an option of Hydrotherapy, swim therapy, for dogs. It helps especially if you have an older dog, subject to anything like orthopedic, muscular, skeletal or neurological injuries, or even just aging or arthritis. They put your dog in a pool to benefit its physical and mental state, but it’s also just a way for them to relax and have fun! You should call in advance for availability: (407) 628-1476 , or email: [email protected] . You can accompany your dog in the water or out.

Winter Park Shopping Center

This is an outdoor shopping center that is dog friendly. Dogs must be on leash, but many of the stores allow them inside. Or you can relax at an outdoor cafe. Just ask before you enter one of the businesses.

Parks

Cady Way Trail

This is an urban trail where people go to bike, jog or walk. You can bring your dog on a leash.

Lake Eola Park

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This is a popular downtown park, with a lake, fountain and some jogging trails. Dogs are allowed on leash. It has night lighting, and is a good place for bird watching.

Click here for a list of off-leash dog parks in the Orlando area.

Outdoor Restaurants

Wei Pei Asian Diner

This is an Asian Fusion restaurant, which uses tons of fresh ingredients. They have vegetarian, meat and event gluten-free options. Dogs are allowed at the outer tables.

The Greek Corner

This restaurant offers authentic Greek food and entertainment. There are all sorts of soups, salads, sandwiches, gyros, kebabs, pita pizza and more. There are some vegetarian options. Leashed dogs are allowed at outdoor tables. You get a nice view of a lake.

Cafe Bravissimo

This is an Italian restaurant, located in Thorton Park. It is award winning and Zagat rated. They have an extensive wine list. Leashed dogs are allowed at the outdoor tables.

White Wolf Cafe

This trendy cafe has a Bohemian atmosphere, as well as antiques and live entertainment. Leashed dogs are allowed at the outdoor tables. Zagat rated!