Human-Animal Bond and Animals in Therapy

The impact of animals on our lives transcends the eons of our existence. Today it is common to show affection and love for the animals with which we communicate. A growing body of research currently documents the significance of the human- animal bond (H-AB) in child development, elderly care, mental illness, physical impairment, dementia, abuse and trauma recovery, as well as the rehabilitation of those in prisons. One can also not overlook the enormous value of canine assisted therapy for our wounded warriors. 1,2

National and interna-tional conferences first
brought attention to the
H-AB in the 1970s and
1980s, along with media coverage of community animal-assisted programs such as a dog obedience club giving an obedience demonstration at a residential facility for teenagers with delinquent behavior and school or hospice pet visitation. Others highlighted included therapy such as therapeutic horsemanship, and service dog training programs. The Delta Society encouraged research in this area, with the majority of funding coming from companies within the pet industry. Now H-AB has its focus on the importance of human- animal interactions to human health and well-being. Click here to read the entire article.

The Human-Animal Connection

REFLECTIONS FROM A VETERINARIAN

What is it about animals that make us feel good when we are in their space?
How do they bring out the best in us? How do they improve our health and overall well-being?

There are all kinds of research studies proving the rewards of human animal connections. But even those who do not read know this to be true. It is a feeling they emanate of wanting us, kindred spirits, sharing souls, the look from those eyes, that pulls us in and warms our hearts. It is what and how we feel when we are with them.

At the age of three I already knew my purpose in life was to be an animal doc- tor. Growing up on a farm in Missouri I spent many hours in the barn with the cats and kittens. Watching their behav- ior, mostly for the goal of being better able to catch them! Then there were the cows and calves, sows and piglets, horses, chickens, and later a funny goat. (Oh yeah that’s right, all goats are funny.) We generally had a dog or two, some indoors, some not. That’s the farm life I suppose.

With each encounter and time spent with the animals I learned by observing, yet grew by feeling. Those feelings, or emo- tions, were related to some kind of com- munication, received and perceived.

That communication was sometimes translated into; “She likes me” or “I need you too” or “thank you for that” and the occasional “I’ve had enough now.”

This becomes more accurate as we learn the communicating signals a specific spe-cies uses. Animals are much more in tune to all facets of body language be- cause, different than humans, they do not exist by our extensive use of verbal communication. Animal signals can be the eye; changes in shape and size of the pupil, position of ears, nose, lips, swish- ing of the tail, erection of feathers or fur, body contour to exhibit definition of size or intent, an odor, showing of teeth, or dancing for joy.” Click here to read the entire article.

Upcoming Seminar – Building a Nutrition Practice

Clinical Animal Nutrition

Presented by: Dr. Ava Frick, DVM
Saturday, June 9, 2012

Applied for 8 hours of DVM, VMD & CVT
Continuing Education in all New England States

Dr. Frick will cover topics such as:

Annual Nutrition Examinations
-­ How to make it work!

What Our Pets Eat
-­ Archetype diet vs. Processed diet

Food Synergy
-­ The Key to Whole Food Nutrition

Using a Clinical Animal Nutrition (CAN) Survey

Diagnostic Tests & Case Examples

And More!!!

Event Details:

Saturday, June 9, 2012 8:30am -­ 5:30pm
Registration begins at 8:00am -­ Buffet lunch included

Sheraton Boston Colonial North
One Audubon Rd Wakefield, MA 01880 781-245-9300

Mention Standard Process for $99 room rate until 5/25/12

Tuition
Health Care Professional  –  $99
Students/Staff/Spouse  –  $79

Register Online and receive $10 off: www.NewEnglandSeminars.com

 

For more information download the PDF: [Download not found]

Ava and Dr. Bill Ormstron Talk

Audio file. Click here to listen:

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Become a Label Guru

Recently I received a free sample of a new dog treat. It had the word ‘gentle’ in the name and I thought, “Oh neat, this sounds good!” Then I turned it over to read the ingredients. Starch, cellulose, partially hydrogenated oil, preservatives, and a slew of synthetic vitamins met my eyes. Disappointed again.

I’m not saying that one treat is going to cause your dog harm. But over time the added effect of similar ingredients in processed diets and processed snacks can take its toll. Sparing your pet from chemicals, additives, and suboptimal ingredients requires of you to become a label reading guru. Just because the word natural is on the package does not mean that the entire product, or any part, is truly from a natural source. Beef flavoring can be labeled natural because beef is natural, but the flavoring is factory made.

Vitamins that end in a chemical sounding word such as mononitrate, hydrochloride, pantothenate, tocopherol, are chemical derivatives or isolates and not the real thing. The real thing is vitamins and minerals that come directly from a plant or animal source. Ascorbic acid for example is the synthetic form of vitamin C. While whole vitamin C complex does have ascorbic acid as the outer antioxidant protective layer, that is only 8% of the whole complex. The remaining ingredients carry the bioflavinoids, organic copper, and the factors that make this vitamin a viable part of cartilage, cellular viability, and white blood cell protection in immunity. Ascorbic acid alone delivers none of that.

Synthetic vitamins are foreign compounds, hydrogenated oils and high fructose corn syrup are carcinogenic, dyes and certain preservatives are toxins. None of these should go into our bodies, or those of our dogs. The faster the body metabolism (This can be directly measured by the standard life span. Shorter life expectancy correlates with faster metabolism.), the greater negative effect toxins of any variety can impart on a body.

An article in one of my journals this year quoted a nutritional veterinarian as saying that wheat gluten is a perfectly good source of protein for the body. No one with Celiac Disease could ever be convinced of that. More and more information and clinical cases continue to surface that supports this in animals too.

There are always two sides to every fence. You just have to figure out if you are coming or going and which side looks greener.

Dr. Ava Frick owns Animal Fitness Center in Union, MO. She was Hartz Mountain 2006 Veterinarian of the Year Runner-Up and recently KSDK TV titled her as “St. Louis’ own Animal Whisperer.” She can be contacted at: 866-836-3900 or www.avafrick.com.