The Surprising Mental Health Benefits of Pet Ownership


The Surprising Mental Health Benefits of Pet Ownership

They’re fuzzy and snuggly. They’ll listen to you complain about all your problems. They’re happy to see you in the morning and when you come home. Our pets love us unconditionally (well, cats might have a few conditions), and they make us feel good inside. It’s no secret that having pets improves the quality of our lives, but pet ownership has actually been scientifically shown to improve our mental health, too.

How Being a Pet Owner Improves Your Mental Health

In a survey cited by the ADAA, 74% of respondents reported experiencing improved mental health after adopting a pet. It’s really no surprise that pet owners report feeling less stressed, anxious, and depressed because playing with a dog or cat releases endorphins like serotonin and dopamine – the chemicals directly responsible for calm and happy feelings.
Oxytocin, another happy neurochemical, creates feelings of satisfaction and helps develop bonds in human relationships. It turns out, oxytocin also helps develop canine-human relationships. When humans and dogs gaze into each other’s eyes, both species release oxytocin.
In addition, people who own pets – especially dog owners – tend to live more active lifestyles than people who are enduring life without a pet. Walking Fido three times a day not only releases more endorphins through exercise but staying active also improves your general physical health, helping you feel better from your body to your brain. Having pets around also reduces physiological responses associated with stress like high blood pressure and elevated heart rate.
The feel-good benefits of pet ownership aren’t just limited to furry friends; fishy friends also impart relaxing health benefits. Simply watching a finned friend (or a whole school of friends) swim around an aquarium will lower your pulse and reduce muscle tension.

Return the Favor with Exceptional Veterinary Care in Mobile

Having a pet can clearly do wonders for your state of being, but having a sick pet is another story. When our pets fall ill, it takes a toll on our mental health. That’s why, at Wesson Animal Clinic, we put an emphasis on wellness and preventative veterinary care for cats and dogs – to keep them happy and healthy for life while also giving you peace of mind!
Healthy adult dogs and cats should visit the veterinarian at least once per year for a checkup, physical examination, parasite control, and vaccine boosters. Senior pets, kittens, puppies, and pets with chronic medical conditions should visit more frequently. To schedule an appointment for peace of mind, your pet’s next wellness exam, contact Wesson Animal Clinic today.

6 Creative Ways to Stay Active with Your Pet During the Pandemic


6 Creative Ways to Stay Active with Your Pet During the Pandemic

Studies have shown that pet owners – especially those with dogs – are up to four times more active than their petless counterparts. While you work from home and practice social distancing, fight the urge to give into couch-potato-dom because staying active is important for physical and mental wellbeing. Thankfully, there are plenty of fun and creative ways for both you and your pets to stay busy, physically fit, and mentally upbeat during the pandemic.

How to Stay Active with Your Pet While Social Distancing

1. Backyard Barking

If you have a private outdoor space, use it! You’ll be safe and your pet will enjoy the fresh air. Be sure to go out during the cooler mornings or evenings.

2. Find a Wide-Open Public Space

If you don’t have your own yard, avoid crowded outdoor spaces like dog parks. If you do visit a public space, go during off-hours and be sure to practice social distancing.

3. Play Inside

You can be active with your pet indoors, too. Play fetch in a hallway, get a rope toy for tug-o-war, or stash toys for hide-and-seek.

4. Create an Agility Course

Videos of cats (expertly) and dogs (not so expertly) maneuvering through homemade obstacle courses are sweeping social media. Set up plastic cups, bottles, pillows, boxes, or stacked blocks and encourage your pet through with treats. Don’t forget to catch it on video to share with your friends.

5. Practice Tricks

Research training techniques and then get up from the sofa to work with your dog or cat. You can practice old tricks or teach them something new. Either way, you’ll both have fun while you interact and bond.

6. Keep Their Minds Busy

Videos of cats (expertly) and If you need pets to be quiet during a conference call, we recommend giving them puzzles to solve. This will keep their minds busy and their snouts occupied while you work. Treat puzzles are great for entertaining both cats and dogs. Just make sure you find time to help your pet burn off the extra snacks with some active play.

We're Here for You and Our Pet Patients During the Pandemic

Our Mobile, AL veterinary clinic is open and operating safely during the pandemic. While we’re closely monitoring the situation in our community, veterinarians at Wesson Animal Clinic are committed to providing ongoing care to our pet patients. We’re practicing social distancing and increased safety measures for the health of our clients, staff, and community. To learn more or schedule an appointment for your pet, we welcome you to contact us today.

Novel Coronavirus and Your Pets: What You Need to Know


Novel Coronavirus and Your Pets: What You Need to Know

While novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV2) responsible for the disease COVID-19, continues to affect the world, many pet owners are social distancing, sheltering in place, or quarantined while wondering whether the virus can have any effect on their pets.

Are Cats and Dogs at Risk of Contracting or Transmitting Novel Coronavirus?

Neither a clear nor definitive answer exists to this question. Currently, there is no evidence that cats or dogs are able to contract or transmit SARS-CoV2. However, much more research is needed to understand if/how this virus affects domestic animals.

Feline Coronavirus and Canine Coronavirus Are Not the Same as Novel Coronavirus

Certain strains of coronavirus can be contracted and transmitted by dogs (CCoV), cats (FCoV), and other domestic animals. These strains of coronavirus, however, are different from SARS-CoV2 and are not transmissible to humans.

How to Protect Your Pets and Family During the Novel Coronavirus Pandemic

Since it remains unclear whether the novel coronavirus will have any impact on pets, the AVMA recommends that pet owners take precautions to keep their pets and families safe.
During this time, you should practice social distancing with your pets in order to prevent them from being exposed to the virus via interaction with humans or pets from separate households. It’s important to keep in mind that while we don’t know for sure whether pets can transmit SARS-CoV2, they can still act as surface carriers. If pets are exposed, you could be exposed by petting your dog or cat and then touching your face.
Numerous zoonotic diseases exist, so it’s always smart to wash your hands before and after interacting with any animals.

Wesson Animal Clinic's Novel Coronavirus Response

At Wesson Animal Clinic, we’re taking extra precautions to keep our clients, patients, and staff safe, while continuing to provide exceptional veterinary care during this unprecedented time. We’re still open during regular business hours, but are providing curbside service to our patients and clients.
When you arrive for your appointment, we’ll send a representative out to collect your pet, and we ask that you remain inside your vehicle. To minimize human contact and exposure, we’re also encouraging clients to pay via credit or debit card over the phone. If you or another member of your household is feeling sick, we request that you reschedule your pet’s appointment, if it’s not an urgent situation.
For more information about scheduling and rescheduling appointments or picking up your pet’s medication and other supplies at this time, we welcome you to contact our office. We’ll be happy to answer any questions you might have.