Henry County Medical Center

WIN 2017

Spirit of Women magazine is a national publication presented to women by hospitals and their physicians. The magazine provides up-to-date, evidence-based healthcare information and promotes our hospitals as leaders in women's health excellence.

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24 Healthy Lifestyle SHUTTERSTOCK RESCUE BASICS If you're ready to make a dog or cat part of your family, consider rescuing one from a local animal shelter. In many cases animals from shelters and breed-specific rescue groups are great candidates for adoption. They may be young, old or in-between, but whatever kind of pet you're looking for, you can find it at a shelter. Animals in shelters also are temperament tested, so you can think about what kind of furry companion will work best for your household, such as a cat who gets along with dogs or a dog who will trail run with you. You'll likely need to pay an adoption fee to cover the costs of spaying, neutering, microchipping, vaccinations and initial care, but that fee will be less than the cost of purchasing a pet from a breeder. Plus, you'll be helping reduce the number of animals euthanized annually in the United States because they can't find homes. In return, you'll get a lifetime of gratitude and companionship from your new four-legged friend. • N early 3 million shelter animals are adopted each year, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), and it's a toss-up whether the lion's share of benefits go to those with four legs or two. In exchange for food, shelter and love, rescued dogs and cats give their owners big mental and physical boosts, says Jamie Migdal, who owns several pet-related businesses, including Chicago-based FetchFind, which helps train pet industry professionals and provides a nationwide pet- focused job listing. "A new pet in the right home can reduce your stress, help you be more social and meet new people, get you moving and all around make you feel more awesome," explains Migdal. PET PARTICULARS Research supports the idea that dog owners walking their pups every day may get in more steps than they did before pet ownership. One study from Michigan State University found a 24 percent increase in human physical activity after becoming a pet owner. And having a furry companion, feline or canine, can help lower blood pressure, boost the immune system and reduce anxiety and stress. Of course, you shouldn't rush out to get a pet just for the health benefits, cautions Migdal. Pet ownership is a serious commitment: more than a decade in most cases and at least $1,000 in expenses annually (slightly more for dogs than for cats), according to the ASPCA. All cats and dogs • http://www.aspca.org/adopt-pet • https://www.petfinder.com/ Breed-specific listings • http://www.adoptapet.com/breed-pages • http://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/rescue-network/ Where to find a rescue pet adopting a 'rescue' pet THE HIDDEN BENEFITS OF By Margaret Littman

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