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810 Healing Power of Pets (Archive)

Companion animals have the power to help us combat stress, reduce anxiety and lower blood pressure. Your doctor might not prescribe a cat to lower cholesterol or a dog to relieve depression, but the animals that share our homes have a remarkable power to help us heal.

Research shows that walking the dog is a more reliable and enjoyable way to get your exercise than stepping on a treadmill. How else do animals enhance our health?

Guest: Marty Becker, DVM, is called America’s veterinarian because of his frequent appearances on Good Morning America and The Dr. Oz Show. Dr. Becker practices at the North Idaho Animal Hospital in Sandpoint, Idaho. His books include The Healing Power of Pets, Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover’s Soul and Your Dog. His website is www.DrMartyBecker.com

The podcast of this program will be available the Monday after the broadcast date. Podcasts can be downloaded for free for six weeks after the date of broadcast. After that time has passed, digital downloads are available for $2.99. CDs may be purchased at any time after broadcast for $9.99.

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies. .
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Great show. It’s about time people hear the real story about how pets can increase the life of humans. I could never live without my dogs and cats. Since I was a little girl I brought animals home who were lost and to this day we have 3 rescue dogs, 3 rescue cats and 1 Golden Retriever. There is nothing like a cold wet nose and a waggy tail to bring happiness and joy.

I started sobbing halfway through this show, much like Dr. Becker I suppose, and many of the other listeners. Thank you for reminding me that my life has not been as rich with companionship since Orville, my cat of 18 years — who may have been older but I’ll never know, since he was found on the streets of Kitty Hawk, thus obtaining his official name, as well as deserving his moniker, Kitty — died last August.
My blood pressure has elevated since then and I will reconsider getting pets again. Honestly, the connection had never occurred to me. Thank you, All!
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PS: I am a lifelong dog person; not a cat person. This feline insinuated himself upon me, following me wherever I went that fateful day. He was either smitten by me, or he recognized a sucker when he saw one, and I rather suspect the latter! Witnesses cheered me on at the sidelines, when they saw the scenario. When one of them sensed my reluctance and actually offered to give me her cat carrier plus a litter box so we could make the 7-hour ride back home, I could resist no longer. I will head to our local shelter asap to look for both a dog and a cat.

Agree with everything on today’s program. Dr. Becker added his voice to the wonderment about young girls attachment to horses. In my unscientific survey the response has always been that they find beauty, grace & power in the horse, all things even young girls know they need to succeed. But it is mostly managing the power that empowers them to conquer life’s problems.

I listened with joy as Dr. Becker spoke about the power of pets to help with healing. He discussed how pets learn from our body language and behaviors. No where have I read about the coherence between heart power between pets and people. The heart is much more powerful than the brain in sending out electromagnetic signals (well beyond our physical bodies) and coordinating hormone secretions and other body regulations. Could it be that when the horse, cat, or dog approaches us it is the coherence of our hearts that cause healing, ease, and joy !

Thank you. I will be buying at least three copies of Dr. Marty Becker’s book.

I learn so much from your shows. Sometimes it confirms my intuition and other times provides direction for problems I am experience or someone close to me. I am going to make my husband listen, who had an aortic valve replacement 8 months ago, so that I can have a cat. I have a horse and that is so wonderful, but really miss the in-house companion as he travels so much. This program will help him accept this new family member.

We have s Sign Company and have a “Shop Cat’ [which we call ‘the dog’ because he is HUGE]. Buddy is part Ragdoll and Silver Persian. We put him in prison [the bathroom] when customers say they are allergic to cats. So one day, customer came in, said he was allergic – we put Buddy in the john. Customer came in to pick his order up… we grabbed Buddy to put him in prison, but the customer said – ‘you don’t have to do that’. “I thought you were allergic.” said I. “yes, I am” said he, “but I’m not allergic to THAT cat!” So he does us ALL good. If you took attachments, I would put one here – and he is beautiful – more hair than the law allows! Thanks for a GREAT program.

Excellent program! I found myself smiling and tearing up at all the stories. I too have experience with dogs, cats and horses from an early age. I didn’t realize the horse I had at age 15 would help me overcome shyness and encourage self esteem and confidence but she did. Many wonderful life memories for all of us are tied to our friends in the animal world. Thank God for all of them as they bless our lives at all stages and ask so little in return.

Really enjoyed the section about the ‘healing’ power of purring cats. I am 45 and back in school–my cat stays by my side or at my feet while I study, regardless of how late, even 3 a.m., and keeps me company. Once I’m done, he stretches and goes to my daughter’s room, where he normally sleeps. I have a study buddy–and it keeps me less stressed and less lonely.

Loved your show, have believed this was true for years… wonder if you know how to convince a very animal averse condo board to listen to this very good advice, and give me some pointers on how to change the rules… the condo had 300+ units and is in the oldest square mile within the contiguous US in Fla. where lots of folks could really benefit from having a small companion animal. I can see the point of lots of barking critters and other arguments against dogs & cats; we don’t live there all the time, only in winter, and would love to bring our small dogs there and be very responsible about their litter and barking as would others who have fought this issue for years. Any word of advice would be read and appreciated… and maybe this is one battle to not fight… thanks for great programs! RCC

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