If you have a dog or cat, you not only have a companion, you have a health ally.

An animal can get you through physical and emotional ailments.

Carlyn Montes De Oca has a new book " Dog as my Doctor, Cat as my Nurse."

She'll be reading from her book and signing copies Saturday, May 20th, at Bookstar in Point Loma at 1pm.

Lionel's Legacy, a senior dog sanctuary, will also be there with dogs who are looking for a home.

You can hear more from Carlyn below.

About 610,000 people die of heart disease in the United States every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control–that's 1 in every 4 deaths. 

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. 

Yet, there is a simple and surprising way to battle this ailment.

One of the best antidotes to minimize this type of lifestyle related illness is with the help of a cat or dog. 

Pets can be better than pills for decreasing stress, lowering cholesterol, and decreasing blood pressure as well as elevating the feel-good hormones that benefit our emotional health, says Carlyn Montes De Oca, author of Dog as My Doctor, Cat as My Nurse: An Animal Lover’s Guide to a Healthy, Happy & Extraordinary Life (April 18, 2017).

According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) over 150 million Americans have cats or dogs – yet pets frequently go unnoticed as a health and wellness ally, which is a shame considering the many benefits that come with having a pet in the family.

To make her point, Carlyn, who is also an acupuncturist and plant based nutritional consultant, stresses the following.

➢ According to the American Heart Association, Pets can help people live longer – the benefits of having a dog for 6 months were lower blood pressure, less stress, and a decreased risk of death.

➢ Approximately 92% of older adults have at least one chronic disease, and 77% have at least two, says the National Council on Aging. Four of these ailments— heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes—cause nearly two thirds of all deaths each year. Pets help lower risks for these types of diseases because they encourage physical activity, promote stress-relief, and inspire their humans to have fun, play more and enjoy life – all powerful daily habits that affect physical well-being without the use and side-effects of pharmaceutical drugs.

➢ The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds that having a dog in the home in the first year of life can help kids who have asthma and allergies and can boost their immunity. Being a parent can be the most important job we ever have. Cats and dogs can act as a parent’s health co-pilot as they guide their child towards adulthood.

 ➢ 70% of Americans are on at least one prescription drug, and more than half take two say Mayo Clinic researchers. The 10 most commonly used drugs in the US are for hypertension, heart failure, and diabetes.

The Journal of American Medical Association says a likely factor is obesity.

According to The New York Times, various studies now show that having a dog encourages activity, exercise, and fitness.

Beyond the scientific findings, Dog as My Doctor, Cat as My Nurse shines a light on the many unique, unexpected, and priceless ways that our animal companions enhance every aspect of human health and wellbeing.

Filled with practical tips, sage wisdom, and real-life stories (including the author’s own), this animal lover’s guide to a healthy, happy, and extraordinary life, allows the reader to experience the vast landscape of health to heal the entire body, mind, and spirit.

Dog as My Doctor, Cat as My Nurse is a beautifully written book filled with healing insights and heartwarming stories.

If you love animals you will love this book. If you don’t live with an animal, you will want to adopt one so you too can live a healthier, happier, and more extraordinary life.

Photo Credit: Carlyn Montes De Oca