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Coping with a dog during a pandemic

Coping with a dog during a pandemicWith more than 140 dogs living with us at the AKF Rescue and Rehabilitation Center in Capas, Tarlac, we could substantially tell you about how our dogs provided us comfort and companionship during these difficult times of the pandemic.

We even have rescued cats that brighten up every room in our shelter. They would dart into our sleeping quarters, sleep beside us and we would wake up with great vibes enough to last us for the day.

Coping with a dog during a pandemic
A visiting family at AKF shelter went home with two rescued dogs.
Each dog has their own temperament and characters and you would certainly have a wonderful moment interacting with them each day. Add to that the genuine affection they shower you with and it really can lift you up amidst the tough times.

You really do not need any scientific studies to tell you what your pets bring to the table but to bolster what you already know, here is what the U.S. National Institutes of Health officially says about the power of our pets:

- Decreases stress levels

- Improves heart health

- Helps kids with their emotional and social skills

Funded research of the NIH regarding this subject have shown positive health effects. Interacting with animals has been shown to decrease levels of cortisol (a stress-related hormone) and lower blood pressure. Other studies have found that animals can reduce loneliness, increase feelings of social support, and boost your mood.

“There’s not one answer about how a pet can help somebody with a specific condition,” explains Dr. Layla Esposito, who oversees NIH’s Human-Animal Interaction Research Program. “Is your goal to increase physical activity? Then you might benefit from owning a dog. You have to walk a dog several times a day and you’re going to increase physical activity. If your goal is reducing stress, sometimes watching fish swim can result in a feeling of calmness. So, there’s no one type fits all.”

Coping with a dog during a pandemic
AKF personnel, Marty, lovingly bonds with a rescued dog as a daily routine at AKF shelter. 
“Dogs are very present. If someone is struggling with something, they know how to sit there and be loving,” says Dr. Ann Berger, a physician and researcher at the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. “Their attention is focused on the person all the time.”

Berger works with people who have cancer and terminal illnesses. She teaches them about mindfulness to help decrease stress and manage pain

“The foundations of mindfulness include attention, intention, compassion, and awareness,” Berger says. “All of those things are things that animals bring to the table. People kind of have to learn it. Animals do this innately.”

Pets also bring new responsibilities. Knowing how to care for and feed an animal is part of owning a pet.

It is never a wasted time being with an animal, the affection you get from them can definitely affect you positively, it could even save your life. AKF can only keep on reminding anyone who cares to listen that dogs, all animals in general, do not deserve the cruel treatment some humans inflict on them. Animals have that innate ability to provide genuine compassion and affection to humans which some of us, sadly, cannot seem to muster.

We count our selves lucky and blessed being surrounded by these loving dogs and if you feel you are ready to welcome one into your life you can visit our Facebook account: https://web.facebook.com/AKFanimalrescue/ and send us a message if you want to adopt a rescued dog. As much as we want to keep them all, seeing these dogs having a loving family they so rightly deserve is very important to us; they have so much to give and seeing them happy greatly inspires us to keep on with the advocacy of protecting each and every animal that some humans cruelly treat.

Coping with a dog during a pandemic
Foreign guests love to hangout with AKF dogs saying they couldn't get enough of them. 
Stay safe, folks, stay happy and adopt a dog.

Help us protect the animals and rescue those who are victims of the dog meat trade.

Topics: AKF Rescue and Rehabilitation Center , Layla Esposito , Human-Animal Interaction Research Program

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