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Interesting Pet Health Facts

Interesting Pet Health Facts

By Mark Hale DVM

Bolivar, MO


            Following are some various facts and study findings that I have recently come across. The sources are many. All were printed in veterinary, pet, or human health publications.

1)      Studies show that people with pets live longer, have less stress and have fewer health problems. (American Pet Products Manufacturers Association)

2)      94 percent of pet owners say their animal pal makes them smile more than once a day. (

3)      In Australia, England, and the US, Max wins as the most popular name for dogs. Other popular dog names in the US are Jake, Buddy, Maggie, Molly and Bear. (

4)      Tests at the University of Michigan showed that while a dog's memory lasts no more than 5 minutes, a cat's can last as long as 16 hours. That is more than even monkeys and orangutans!

5)      Ninety-five percent of cat owners admit they talk to their cats. (

6)      A 2005 Purina study showed that about 60% of pets in the US are overweight. However, owners didn't seem to realize this as 45% felt their pets were normal in weight.

7)      A "stress detection patch" for dogs is being marketed in Japan. The pad detects perspiration in a dogs' footpad and changes colors to indicate the level of stress at that time.

8)      The American Journal of Epidemiology found cigarette smoke to be the leading cause of lymphoma in about 50% of cats. Smoking in the home doubles a cat's chance of catching the disease. That risk triples after five years of exposure to second-hand smoke.

9)      A survey showed that about 75% of cat owners are not familiar with bladder issues their cat may face. Many times, cat owners can mistake bladder issues for behavior problems and not seek treatment. Cat bladder problems have proven to be the main reason owners turn their cats into animal shelters, the survey found. (Harris Interactive)

10)   A study presented at the American Stroke Association found that having a feline in the household lowered the risk of heart attack by one third. The author is quoted as saying "For years we have known that psychological stress and anxiety are related to cardiovascular events, particularly heart attacks." The new research shows that "essentially there is a benefit in relieving those inciting factors in pets." Although the study found no such benefit from dogs, "that's probably because there simply weren't enough dog owners in the study to draw firm conclusions" the author stated.

11)   Research entomologist John Carroll tested a ticks' survivability with washing machines. The majority of the lone star ticks survived all detergent and water temperatures. Deer ticks survived the majority of the cold and warm water combinations, but only 25% survived the hot water setting with detergent. In the dryer, high heat for 1 hour killed all ticks. With no heat 1/3 to ½ survived the dryer.

12)   In a study commissioned by Arm & Hammer, 92% of cat owners consider their cat to be part of the family. Additionally, 50% say they give their cat a Christmas stocking, 53% have carried their cat in a carriage, and 13% carry a photo of their cat in their wallet.


Pets are becoming more and more an important part of American families. They can bring a smile to our faces and help keep us healthy. Their benefits to young and old alike keep being proven in study after study. If you have a pet you owe it to yourself and your pet to spend lots of time together, give it proper care, and cherish your friendship. This week I lost one of my best friends ever. Ben had been with us for 8 years, and appeared to be very old when we adopted him. Ben's goal in life was to be by my side as much as possible, and the feeling was mutual. The loss of a special pet is always so hard, but the memories of all the times spent together are priceless. A quote I once read states "My goal in life is to be as good of a person as my dog already thinks I am".