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National Pet Month
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National Pet Month is a celebration of the benefits that pets bring to people's lives - and vice versa. It is observed annually in the United States in May and during the month of April in the United Kingdom.

See Also:
►  International Observances
►  National Animal Holidays
►  List of commemorative months
►  May Observances
►  Holiday Categories

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Purpose

National Pet Month’s aims are to:

  •   Promote the benefits of pet ownership
  •   Support pet adoption
  •   Make people aware of the benefits of pets for people and people for pets
  •   Increase public awareness of services available from professionals who work with animals
  •   Raise awareness of the role, value and contribution to society of working companion animals
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Definition of a Pet:
A pet (or companion animal) is an animal kept for a person's company, as opposed to livestock, laboratory animals, working animals and sport animals which are kept for economic reasons. The most popular pets are noted for their attractive appearances and their loyal or playful personalities. Their pedigree may also be a factor.

In some cases pets may also provide their owners with benefits, such as providing companionship to elderly adults who do not have adequate social interaction with other people. While some people believe in the physical and emotional benefits of owning a pet, scientists are currently working to verify these ideas with medical studies. There is now a medically approved class of "therapy animals", mostly dogs, that are brought to visit confined humans. Pet therapy utilizes trained animals and handlers to achieve specific physical, social, cognitive, and emotional goals with patients. Walking a dog can provide both the owner and the dog with exercise, fresh air, and social interaction.

The most popular pets are dogs and cats, but there are also rodent pets, such as gerbils, hamsters, chinchillas, fancy rats, and guinea pigs; avian pets, such as canaries, parakeets, and parrots; reptile pets, such as turtles, lizards and snakes; aquatic pets, such as tropical fish and frogs; and arthropod pets, such as tarantulas and hermit crabs.

Health Benefits of having a pet:
Pets have the ability to stimulate their caregivers, in particular the elderly, giving people someone to take care of, someone to exercise with, and someone to help them heal from a physically or psychologically troubled past. Having a pet may help people achieve health goals, such as lowered blood pressure, or mental goals, such as decreased stress. There is evidence that having a pet can help a person lead a longer, healthier life. In a study of 92 people hospitalized for coronary ailments, within a year 11 of the 29 patients without pets had died, compared to only 3 of the 52 patients who had pets. Pet ownership was shown to significantly reduce triglycerides, and thus heart disease risk, in the elderly. A study by the National Institute of Health found that people who owned dogs were less likely to die as a result of a heart attack than those who didn’t own one. Other studies have shown that for the elderly, good health may be a requirement of pet ownership, and not a result of pet ownership. Dogs which are trained to be guide dogs can help people with disabilities. Dogs that are trained in the field of Animal-Assisted Therapy (AAT) can also benefit people with disabilities.​

Pets in long-term care institutions
Even pet owners residing in a long-term care facility, such as a hospice or nursing home, experience health benefits from pets. Pets help people cope with the emotional issues related to their illness. They also offer physical contact with another living creature, something that is often missing in an elder's life. Pets for nursing homes are chosen based on the size of the pet, the amount of care that the breed needs, and the population and size of the care institution. Appropriate pets go through a screening process and, if it is a dog, additional training programs to become a therapy dog. There are three types of Therapy Dogs: "Facility Therapy Dogs", "Animal Assisted Therapy Dogs" and "Therapeutic Visitation Dogs". The most common Therapy Dogs are "Therapeutic Visitation Dogs". These dogs are household pets whose owners take time to visit hospitals, nursing homes, detention facilities, and rehabilitation facilities. Different pets require varying amounts of attention and care; for example, cats have lower maintenance requirements than dogs.
read all about pet at wikipedia

Animal Care
Humans are one of only a few kinds of animals known to possess and care for other species. We keep all manner of animals, for reasons ranging from food and material production, friendship, and decoration. Many people believe that when we take responsibility for an animal, we are required to provide proper care for them. Animal rights laws reaffirm this belief. Beyond the ethical and legal issues surrounding animal care, many people find a deep sense of satisfaction in knowing their pets are happy and healthy.... reading link

Human-Animal Bonding
he human–animal bond can be defined as a connection between people and animals, domestic or wild; be it a cat as a pet or birds outside one's window. Research into the nature and merit of the human–animal bond began in the late 18th century when, in York, England, the Society of Friends established The Retreat to provide humane treatment for the mentally ill. By having patients care for the many farm animals on the estate, society officials theorized that the combination of animal contact plus productive work would facilitate the patients' rehabilitation. In the 1870s in Paris, a French surgeon had patients with neurological disorders ride horses. The patients were found to have improved their motor control and balance and were less likely to suffer bouts of depression.

In the 19th century, in Bielefeld, Germany, epileptic patients were given the prescription to spend time each day taking care of cats and dogs. The contact with the animals was found to reduce the occurrence of seizures. In 1980, a team of scientists at the University of Pennsylvania found that human to animal contact was found to reduce the physiological characteristics of stress; specifically, lowered levels of blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate, anxiety, and tension were all found to correlate positively with human–pet bonding.

Historically, animals were domesticated for functional use; for example, dogs for herding and tracking, and cats for killing mice or rats. Today, in Western societies, their function is primarily bonding. For example, current studies show that 60–80% of dogs sleep with their owners at night in the bedroom, either in or on the bed. Moreover, in the past the majority of cats were kept outside (barn cats) whereas today most cats are kept indoors (housecats) and considered part of the family. Currently, in the US, for example, 1.2 billion animals are kept as pets, primarily for bonding purposes. In addition, as of 1995 there were over 30 research institutions looking into the potential benefits of the human–animal bond....... reading link

Pet Adoption & Big black dog syndrome
One problem shelters are fighting to overcome is what they term "Big Black Dog syndrome". Big black dogs (BBDs) are consistently the hardest dogs to place — even if they’re friendly, well trained, and in perfect health. This may be due to a number of factors, including fear stigma against certain breed types, attraction to ads and the fact that black dogs often do not photograph as well as lighter coated ones, and the fact that black dogs are often portrayed as aggressive in film and on television. Organizations have started campaigns to educate the public about BBD syndrome. Similarly, shelters often have difficulty placing black cats due to common superstitions regarding black cats as bringers or harbingers of bad luck. Some shelters also have policies halting or limiting adoption of black cats immediately prior to Halloween for fear that the animals will be tortured, or used as "living decorations" for the holiday and then abandoned.
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Categories:
► May Observances
► List of commemorative months
► Holiday Categories
► National Animal Holidays

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