October 21st is Pets For Vets Day! This is a wonderful idea and cause, and one that we are happy to help spread awareness about. A local Norwalk, CA vet offers some insight into this new holiday below.
Pets for Vets Day was created by animal trainer Clarissa Black. The purpose is to both raise awareness of the challenges veterans face when returning to civilian life, and hopefully offer them a great source of support, while also helping place pets that need homes. You can learn more on the official website here.
Our animal companions are more than fuzzy little roommates. They’re actually great for us, both mentally and physically. Pets help keep us active by encouraging us to talk walks every day. (Technically, that one mostly applies to dogs.) They also help ward off loneliness and depression, improve self-esteem, and provide comfort and companionship in troubled times. Plus, they can give us a new outlook on life. Simply having a furry pal to care for can really soothe the soul.
A Purrfect Match
Matching pets and vets together may be the best pairing since peanut butter and chocolate. (Or jelly, if you prefer.) According to the ASPCA, about 6.5 million pets enter shelters every year. The majority of them are dogs and cats, though other animals are also included. Though there has been a trend in shelters going no-kill in recent years, this unfortunately isn’t an across the board policy. Sadly, about 1.5 million are euthanized annually. And as for the veterans, about 20% of veterans suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after coming home. This is definitely an area where pets and vets can help each other find brighter tomorrows.
Pets, Service, Or Therapy Animals
It’s important to note the distinctions between pets, service animals, and therapy animals. Pets are simply companion animals. They have no special training or distinctions, other than being lovable. Service animals are trained to perform specific tasks. Many veterans do have service animals: these may help them cope with anxiety attacks, or may perhaps assist with physical tasks. Therapy animals are somewhere in between. They don’t have the advanced training service animals receive, but are taught to provide comfort and cuddles. Of course, they’re all wonderful in our book!
Is your furry friend due for an exam? Contact us, your Norwalk, CA animal clinic, anytime!