October is a busy month!
It plays host to Columbus Day, United Nations Day, National Boss Day, Halloween, Pit Bull Awareness, and a very important cause, Breast Cancer Awareness. Cancer.gov estimates that 1 in 8 women will be affected by breast cancer, but did you know that dogs and cats can develop breast cancer too? More commonly referred to as mammary cancer in dogs and cats, it can easily be prevented and the risk nearly eliminated just by spaying your pet before their first heat cycle. Also, scheduling regular checkups with your veterinarian is the best way to detect mammary cancer and other cancers as early as possible.
While dogs and cats may experience similar struggles with cancer, our pets can also play a vital role in the healing process. In particular, therapy dogs have been shown to help increase oxytocin and dopamine in the brain while lowering cortisol. What does this mean exactly? It’s been proven that dogs help establish emotional connections, make you happier, and reduce stress; all positive things to help promote healing!
Therapy dogs come in all shapes and sizes, but the most important factor is their temperament and their ability to interact calmly with people. Once registered, you and your companion can work with hospitals, retirement homes, nursing homes, schools, and a myriad of other organizations to help provide comfort and a sense of calm to those in need. A great place to start would be working with a breast cancer support group!
We know you are all busy, but take a few moments this October to remember the Niña, the Pinta, & the Santa Maria, there are 193 nations who have chosen to unite, your boss isn’t that bad, give more tricks than treats, love is the Pits, out of every 8 women you know, 1 will probably develop breast cancer, and to SPAY or NEUTER YOUR PETS!
If you’re interested in registering your dog as a therapy animal, some local organizations are: Therapy Animals of San Antonio, Paws 4 Hearts, Delta Society Pet Partners, and Therapy Dogs Incorporated.