February – The Love Month
Valentine’s Day and Love Your Pet Day are two heart- themed days we celebrate in the month of February. It is the month of love with colorful decorative hearts on cards, candies and celebrated with candlelight dinners, marriage proposals, weddings and anniversaries.
February is also American Heart Month which promotes awareness of heart or cardiovascular disease and how to prevent it. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States. Some of the leading causes of heart issues are excess weight, inactivity, diabetes, unhealthy eating, and stress. Healthy choices and lifestyle changes are key factors in preventing heart disease. Pets can also be affected by heart conditions? Regular checkups are important for both humans and pets to detect early warning signs of heart disease.
You can reduce your chances of developing heart problems by increasing your physical activity, adopting a healthy eating plan and managing stress. It is important, too, to smile, laugh and have fun – A happy heart is a healthy heart. There is a link between our emotions and our hearts. Taking time for fun including friends, hobbies and enjoyable activities help in achieving a heart-healthy lifestyle.
Help Your Heart – Hug Your Pet
Multiple studies suggest that having a pet offers numerous health benefits for people. Pets have a positive effect on stress levels, blood pressure and emotional well-being. Staying active is important for overall health fitness and heart health; walking your dog is a fun activity. Stroking or petting a pet increases serotonin and dopamine levels which help create a sense of calm and well being. The companionship and unconditional love of pets helps reduce depression, loneliness and anxiety which are harmful to our health.
Love Your Pet – Keep Them Healthy
A few important tips to helping your pet stay healthy are:
Taking your dog for daily walks is a great way to stay fit. Schedule regular playtimes with your pet. Make sure they enjoy an active lifestyle; walking, hiking and swimming are healthy activities.
Feed your pet a balanced, nutritious diet based on their breed, age, activity level and species. Help them maintain their ideal body weight; excess weight or obesity increases stress on the heart, other body organs and joints
Take your pet to the veterinarian for regular checkups and routine care annually or more often for older pets or those with an existing health condition. Regular veterinarian care is important to help prevent or diagnose health problems.
Keeping them healthy is one of the best ways to show our love!
February offers three great reminders to take care of our health, to express love to our family and friends and to shower our pets with extra love and attention.